WASHINGTON -- April 26 -- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has sued the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) in the District Court for the District of Columbia for failing to produce documents pursuant to Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA). CREW had asked NIGC to produce any records relating to contacts that NIGC had with the major players in the Indian gaming scandals including Leader of the House Tom DeLay, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Ohio Rep. Bob Ney, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Jack Abramoff, Mike Scanlon, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Scott Reed, Grover Norquist and Italia Federici. The date requests any contacts from January 1, 2001 to March 18, 2005, the date of the FOIA filing.
CREW filed a FOIA with NIGC after learning that Members of Congress, lobbyists and Christian activists were making back-door deals on Indian gaming and after learning that Abramoff had some contact with the NIGC. The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to respond to FOIA requests within 20 days, but in violation of the law, NIGC failed to respond to CREWs request.
Melanie Sloan, CREWs executive director, said "although we are now reading about deals to defraud Indian tribes practically every day, NIGC, in violation of the law, is keeping its contacts with these lobbyists and Members of Congress under wraps. The American public has a right to know what NIGC knew and what role administration officials played in these scandals.
A copy of CREWs complaint can be obtained by contacting Naomi Seligman by phone at 202-588-5565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit, progressive legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.