Two former Northern Arapaho Business Councilmembers (NABC) along with two former Wind River Hotel and Casino employees filed a lawsuit against out-of-state lawyers who they allege “planned and executed a scheme to usurp control” over the Northern Arapaho Tribe, according to a press release shared with County 10.
Since filing this legal action in 2019, the four Tribal Members, Anthony “Al” Addison, Sr., Sam Dresser, Faith Wallowing Bull, and Rosella Morin, represented themselves in Cheyenne last week for the first time. It was decided in the hearing before Wyoming District Court Judge Thomas Campbell, they would withdraw the lawsuit at this time to consider all of their legal options and find appropriate representation, noted former casino employee Faith Wallowing Bull.
Their lawsuit alleges the lawyers Keith Harper, Charlie Galbraith, Larry Roberts as well as the law firm Kilpatrick, Townsend and Stockton (KTS) had conflicts of interest, intended to undermine the foundation of tribal governance, entered into an unapproved management contract of the casino, and interfered with the employment contracts of casino employees.
In 2019, the NABC retained KTS to provide legal services as they transitioned from a different law firm amid management changes at the Wind River Hotel and Casino.
KTS no longer represents the Tribe, according to former Councilmember Addison. “Unfortunately, lawyers Harper and Galbraith are still here and, in my opinion, are continuing to do harm to the Tribe.”
Judge Campbell reportedly pointed out in the hearing that he believed their case “had merit.” He also indicated that if they wanted to enter mediation, he would be inclined to grant their request. This case can be re-filed in either state, federal or tribal court.
Former casino employee Rosella Morin shared, “Everything the Judge said during the hearing was encouraging and we will seriously look at all of our legal options.”
During the hearing, legal representation for the defendants “vigorously” argued that the Tribal Members should not be allowed to re-file their case in another court and that they should be forced to pay the legal fees of the lawyers.
“It is despicable that these lawyers, who are paid up to $600 an hour, attempted to force Tribal Members to pay their legal fees. Fortunately, the Judge agreed with us,” said Wallowing Bull.
No other legal actions have been decided by the four Tribal Members at this time. County 10 will share any additional information that is released regarding this case.