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Archive for Friday, May 13, 2011

Campaign charges dropped against Iowa gaming execs planning casino in Kansas

May 13, 2011

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— Charges were dismissed Friday against executives with an Iowa gaming company who were accused of violating the state's campaign disclosure laws.

Peninsula Gaming LLC's chief executive Martin Brent Stevens and chief operating officer Jonathan Swain had been accused of making illegal campaign contributions to former Gov. Chet Culver's 2010 re-election campaign by donating money in another person's name.

At issue was a $25,000 campaign contribution to Culver, who donated the contribution to charity after questions were raised in the case.

The charges were dismissed in Polk County District Court after a special prosecutor filed a motion to do so, saying additional information was obtained indicating there was insufficient evidence to show the men violated the law.

Guy Cook, an attorney for Dubuque-based Peninsula Gaming and its executives, told The Associated Press that he and his clients were "convinced from the start that no crime was committed."

"Today's dismissal vindicates the company and its officers and reinforces Peninsula Gaming's reputation as a responsible and ethical company," Cook said.

Stevens said in a statement that "Peninsula operates with the utmost integrity and during its nearly 12-year history has always adhered to the highest standards of regulatory compliance and ethical business practices."

Peninsula Gaming also was charged in the case and those charges also were dismissed Friday.

A telephone message left Friday for Special Prosecutor Lawrence Scalise was not immediately returned.

Peninsula Gaming is planning a $260 million complex with a casino and horse arena in Mulvane, Kan., about 18 miles south of Wichita and the company in January received permission from the state's Racing and Gaming Commission to move forward with the project despite the charges in Iowa.

Conservative Republican lawmakers in Kansas questioned the decision, suggesting it was premature to act, in part because of the charges in Iowa. Supporters of the project suggested that even if the company and its officers were convicted, it wouldn't be serious enough to prevent Peninsula from operating the Kansas casino.

Charges remain against two other Iowa men.

Comments

pace 3 years, 7 months ago

The only real reason the wealthiest are not taxed at a fair rate is corruption.

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