Indian tribe off the hook in $43-million dispute

A dispute between the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and development company Kenwood Investments has been settled in arbitration.  The dispute stems from money the developer says it is owed by the tribe - in the amount of $43 million - for services it provided from 2002 to 2005.  The arbitration panel sided with the tribe, letting it off the hook for the entire amount. 

In 2003, the tribe and Kenwood signed a contract that said that it would receive 4% of the casino's revenue for the first seven years of operations.  Later, the amount was dropped to 2.5%, according to court documents.  Kenwood stopped providing its services in 2005, prior to the end of the contract, leading to the tribe asserting that it didn't owe anything since Kenwood hadn't fulfilled its contractual obligations. 

Kenwood founder Darius Anderson had convinced the tribe to allow Station Casinos to be the casino's operator.  However, he didn't tell the tribe that he was affiliated with Station, nor did he allow for any offers from other competitors.  Those points, coupled with Kenwood's pullout from the contract in 2005, resulted in the arbitration panel siding with the tribe. 

Anderson founded Kenwood in 2000 and is also the founder of a lobbying firm, Platinum Advisors.  Platinum lists Station as one of its clients.  Anderson is behind San Francisco's Treasure Island project, which will feature public parks, a 250,000-square-foot retail space, 8,000 residential units, organic and wind farms and a ferry terminal.  California Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors earlier in 2018. 

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