A proposed $60 million Seneca-Cayuga casino to be built on Grand Lake has been put on hold, Seneca Cayuga officials said Friday.
“Right now there are just several issues the tribe is dealing with,” said Second Chief Katie Birdsong.
The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe made application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 30 acres west of Grove near Sail Boat Bridge to be held in trust for gaming purposes. Federal law mandates any land for a casino must be put in trust per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.
Jeanette Hanna, BIA Regional Director was unavailable for comment Monday on questions regarding the tribe’s application.
The Miami based tribe spent more than $1 million to acquiring the land with goal of building a 100,000-square-foot lakefront casino. The casino would employ about 450 people and have about 1,000 gambling machines. Plans also include a five-story hotel with 125 rooms and three restaurants, including a steak house and sports bar, and a convention center to be built later.
Birdsong said the National Indian Gaming Commission is investigating severance payments made by the former chief Paul Spicer.
Telephone calls to Thomas Hayde of St. Louis, Spicer’s attorney, were not returned, and Spicer was unavailable for comment.
Spicer resigned from his position with the tribe, but later rescinded the resignation. The BIA announced earlier this month, LeRoy Howard, is the official interim chief until the election fight can be resolved by the tribe.
Most of the disputed severance checks were around $20,000.
In addition to the severance checks, Birdsong said the investigation will also include questions about where the gaming revenue is going.
The investigation should last another two weeks and then it will take an additional four weeks to prepare a report of the agency’s findings, she said.