Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Citing Casino, Broken Arrow Mayor Resigns

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Citing Casino, Broken Arrow Mayor Resigns

Article excerpt

Mike Lester folded his hand on Tuesday, as the Broken Arrow mayor said he was stepping away from the office, effective Tuesday.

But Lester, who is also Ward 3 city councilman, will not quit the City Council.

Yet, one of the co-founders of the Broken Arrow group opposed to the Kialegee Red Clay Casino said Lester should completely walk away from the table.

Rob Martinek, leader and co-founder of Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming, said if Lester did anything worthy of stepping down as mayor, he should resign from the City Council, as well.

"He has lost the favor and confidence of the Broken Arrow community," Martinek said.

Besides a news release from the mayor's office, Lester declined to make a statement.

"It is my opinion that the office of the mayor is a position and not a person," Lester said in the release. "So to that end, I will remove myself from the office of mayor."

Lester said his remaining as mayor was a distraction to the good things occurring in Broken Arrow.

Martinek said in a telephone interview that Lester needed to take the next step and resign from the City Council.

"Mr. Lester has taken a half step in the right direction by stepping down as mayor," Martinek said. "And, now he should go the rest of the way, take the next step off the City Council. That would be a turn in the right direction"

Lester's announcement came following a series of events that have gone against the Wetumka-based Muskogee (Creek) Nation tribal town of 450 people.

The National Indian Gaming Commission said Friday that the Kialegee Tribal Town did not own the 20-acre plot on which the Kialegees tried to build the Red Clay Casino. U.S. Rep. John Sullivan's office released the letter and a statement on Friday.

The solicitor general at the Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed with the decision, NIGC Chairwoman Tracie Stevens wrote in a letter to Kialegee Chief Tiger Hobia. …

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