posted on March 24, 2014 13:32
Tensions are rising over a proposed Seneca Casino in Henrietta.
The law firm for Rochester developer David Flaum -- who’s working with the Senecas to explore a Las Vegas-style casino in Henrietta-- has written a letter to Western Regional Off-Track Betting threatening legal action.
It’s over the complaint filed by WROTB to the state ethics board over alleged illegal lobbying activities. It seeks exploration of potential violations of the state’s lobbying law between the Seneca Gaming Corporation/Seneca Nation and Flaum. Batavia Downs CEO Michael Nolan told WBTA at the time of the filing that “evidence exists to support the conclusion that Mr. Flaum and Flaum Rochester have been acting as unregistered lobbyists and have accepted a contingent-based employment from the Nation. Also some evidence exists to support that the Nation and the Seneca Gaming Corporation are considered lobbying clients of Mr. Flaum and Flaum Rochester and have failed to submit required semi-annual reports.”
The developer’s attorney called the complaint “fabricated” and that if it wasn’t dropped, they would sue OTB.
OTB officials say it’s well within their right to seek an opinion from the ethics panel.
“We just submitted the complaint to JCOPE which is a state commission that’s tasked with interpreting if a contract of this type falls within the ethics law,” OTB President and CEO Michael Kane said. “That’s all we’ve done.”
Multiple municipalities and politicians have voiced their opposition to the casino, saying it would have negative effects on Batavia Downs and the area.
The Senecas purchased 32 acres of land in the Town earlier this month.
Kane sent WBTA the letter, which can be read below:
Letter: Nixon Peabody