June 22, 2010
The state gaming board’s hearing and appeals director has given Foxwoods Casino until July 30 to complete all discovery related to an as yet unscheduled hearing on whether the casino should keep its license. But Foxwoods attorneys say that’s not enough time, and today filed an emergency petition, asking the Gaming Board to overrule the hearings officer and give the casino partners until Oct. 31 to complete discovery.
Under that requested schedule, the license revocation hearing would be held in November, according to the documents filed by Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners attorneys Fred Jacoby and Robert Graci.
In their petition, the attorneys say that they were told by Linda Lloyd, director of hearings and appeals, to come to a June 17 pre-discovery conference prepared to discuss a schedule. But when they got there, she began the meeting by setting the July 30 deadline. That gives the Foxwoods team 45 days to do things such as request documents and conduct dispositions, including over the July 4 holiday weekend, and it’s always very difficult to schedule discovery related meetings during the summer months, the attorneys wrote.
The Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement has already agreed to give Foxwoods’ attorneys copies of all documents it has that it believes are relevant to the license revocation by June 28. But Jacoby and Graci say in their filing that based upon the discussions held at the pre-discovery hearing, they expect the BIE to object to providing many of the facts and documents the Foxwoods attorneys want, and these disputes will cause further delays.
Jacoby and Graci wrote that Lloyd told them she was required to set such a schedule to meet Section 491a.8(h) of the state gaming law, which says in part that hearings for violations of the gaming act will be scheduled within 90 days of initiation by the bureau.
The Foxwoods attorneys say the language in this section is “ambiguous” and “does not in any event mandate that the hearings be held” within the 90 days, only that they be scheduled. Also, they wrote, other parts of the law allow time extensions to be granted where good cause is shown. And besides, they said in the document, since the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement’s complaint to revoke the license was filed on April 29, July 30 is already more than 90 days afterward.
-Posted by Kellie Patrick Gates