NY Times on Shutdown and Tribes


Aaron Payment, the chairman of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan, said his tribe had already shut down its H.I.V. prevention program and furloughed employees for its Head Start program for a month because of sequestration.

Now, with nearly $1 million in federal money lost since the shutdown, the tribe is scrambling to shift casino revenue from other programs to keep its government afloat.

“We’re in turmoil right now,” Mr. Payment said. “The impact here is going to be felt by the people who need the services the most.”

Kevin Washburn, assistant secretary for Indian affairs, said the shutdown could have long-term effects on tribes and tribal members. Financial deals and economic programs have been suspended. Environmental reviews of tribal projects will be delayed. And the impact on the thousands of Bureau of Indian Affairs employees who have been furloughed is compounded because many support poor relatives, he said.

Opening Brief in Lansing Casino Dispute — Michigan v. Sault Tribe

Here is the opening brief:

Sault Tribe CA6 brief

TribeMotionCOA SubstituteBrief (3)

Sault Tribe CA6 Substitute Brief

Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Enjoins Sault Tribe from Seeking Trust Acquisition for Lansing Casino Property

News coverage here.

Link to opinion here.

DCT Order Granting Injunction

Briefs here.

Second Greektown Reorganization Plan to Be Considered

From the Freep via Pechanga:

A second plan to speed Greektown Casino’s exit from bankruptcy protection could go out to creditors for a vote next week.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Walter Shapero told lawyers for the casino and its creditors Friday that he expected to sign an order Monday to approve the disclosure statement. That would clear the way for the plan to be sent out next Friday for creditor voting.

The confirmation hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12. The goal is for plan confirmation by Jan. 31 and for the casino to emerge from bankruptcy by June 30.

Greektown Casino still needs to get the City of Detroit’s approval before it can approach state regulators for a 15% tax rollback.

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News Coverage on Criminal Charges in U.P. Illegal Gillnetting Case

From the Escanaba Daily Press:

ESCANABA – Sentences will be handed down within the next six weeks for two men arrested in connection with illegal gill netting on Big Bay de Noc earlier this month, according to Delta County District Court officials.

Kerry Todd Johnson, 27, Cooks, and Daryl John Tatrow, 48, Garden, each pleaded no contest to a charge of using illegal fishing devices. The misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine, and revocation of one’s fishing license for three years.

Tatrow, who appeared in district court Wednesday, also pleaded no contest to one count of attempted assaulting/resisting/obstructing a law enforcement officer for fleeing during his arrest. The charge carries a maximum sentencing of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced in district court on Dec. 21. Tatrow will be sentenced on Jan. 4.

A third man arrested in connection with the alleged illegal gill-netting operation, will be charged in the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians Tribal Court for subsistence fishing without a license, according to officials from the Department of Natural Resources. His name was unavailable.

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Greektown Reorganization Agreement Reached

Here is the reorganization plan referenced in the article below — Greektown Reorganization Plan

From Fox Business via Pechanga:

Greektown Holdings, L.L.C. announced today that beneficial holders of a majority of the principal amount of its pre-petition bank debt have reached agreement to support the plan of reorganization filed on November 2, 2009 by plan sponsors MFC Global Investment Management, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., Brigade Capital Management and Solus Alternative Asset Management LP. That agreement has been supplemented by a stipulation adopted by the Bankruptcy Court on November 19, 2009 among the Debtors, the plan sponsors, an ad hoc group of certain of the Debtors’ pre-petition bank lenders, the indenture trustee for the holders of the Debtors’ 10.75% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2013, the administrative agent for the Debtors’ pre-petition bank debt and DIP Debt and the official committee for the Debtors’ unsecured creditors.

Under the plan which will be amended pursuant to the stipulation, the pre-petition bank lenders would be paid in cash in full on the effective date of the plan, and the holders of the Debtors’ 10.75% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2013 will receive the equity of the reorganized Debtors, subject to dilution by the rights offering provided for in the plan. The holders of the Senior Unsecured Notes would also have the right to subscribe for approximately 78% of the equity at an aggregate purchase price of $185 million in the rights offering. The four plan sponsors have agreed to purchase any equity in such rights offering that is not subscribed for by the holders of the Senior Unsecured Notes in the rights offering. In addition, Solus Alternative Asset Management LP would make a direct investment in the equity of the reorganized Debtors.

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Greektown Hearings to Begin

From the Freep:

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Walter Shapero has scheduled four days of hearing time during which the plan’s proponents and objectors are to call more than 20 witnesses and present 539 exhibits to prove their cases, according to a procedural order filed with the court.

At dispute is how Greektown Casino, the smallest by revenue of Detroit’s three casinos, was valued. The higher the value, the more creditors have to share. As it stands now, the pre-petition lenders, led by Merrill Lynch Capital Corp., put the value at $540 million and would own the casino after it emerges from bankruptcy.

Negotiations were ongoing over the weekend to deal with a potential wrinkle after the attorney for one creditor said he might offer a competing plan for reorganization. This plan would ensure bondholders, owed about $185 million, would get something out of the process.

“All of the parties continue to negotiate,” said Chuck Moore, a turnaround expert for the casino’s estate. “At this point, there is no plan other than to move forward with the confirmation hearings.”

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