The Morning Report
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Supervisor Dianne Jacob spoke out this afternoon against the construction at the Jamul Indian Village, admonishing the tribe for breaking its promise that two tribal dissidents’ homes would be left alone until Friday.
The homes of casino opponents Karen Toggery and Walter Rosales were torn down yesterday.
“That was wrong, certainly without conscience,” Jacob said. “It was shameful what happened.”
Jamul tribal chairman Leon Acebedo told me yesterday that he’d warned opponents that he didn’t have the authority to make such an agreement, that his 51-member tribe’s executive council could overrule him. They unanimously did Monday morning.
Jacob said that no such warning was given Saturday, when the agreement helped diffuse a tense standoff between tribal security and casino opponents. The agreement, which Acebedo signed, said the tribal council would meet Monday to “affirm” the d´etente.
In an interview today, Acebedo said that he, in fact, had not told opponents that he could be overturned.
“I was very aware that I could be overridden,” he said. “I didn’t talk to them (the opponents) about it. I just wrote what was requested of me.”
Jacob suggested that the homes were demolished so the publicly traded Lakes Gaming, which is backing the casino’s construction and development, could show its investors progress in its third-quarter financial statement due out soon.
Acebedo said that was not the case. “The homes were demolished so that we can continue to make progress,” he said. “It has nothing to do with what Lakes’ bottom line is.”
The state of California could be the last recourse for opponents. Jacob said the tribe needs a state-issued encroachment permit to access the serpentine Highway 94. Such a permit would require a formal environmental impact review under the California Environmental Quality Act, Jacob said.
Acebedo said the tribe needs that permit to improve its existing access to Highway 94 but said the casino could be accessed by an existing driveway without more permits. CalTrans has been stalling the process, Acebedo said, and had not returned phone calls to set up meetings.
“We’re more than willing to work with them jointly to get the CEQA study done,” Acebedo said.