After state legislators sounded a warning bell last week, an El Dorado County attorney met with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's legal staff Friday to discuss an Indian casino proposed in Shingle Springs.
Legislators such as Assemblyman Dave Cox, R-Citrus Heights, and Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, arranged the meeting after hearing objections from attorney Ed Knapp, who represents El Dorado County.
Knapp says Caltrans is represented by an attorney for the Shingle Springs band of Miwok Indians, who want to build the casino and a highway interchange to access it.
Knapp said he didn't expect any direct result to come out of the meeting, which he characterized as "legal chit-chat."
The lawsuits, filed by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, are an attempt by the county to stop plans for construction of a 380,000-square-foot casino on the tribal rancheria. The legal battle has cost the county approximately $600,000 in the last six months, Knapp said.
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is opposed to construction of a casino-hotel complex and an interchange between Cameron Park and Placerville. Supervisors argue the area is rural and not conducive to a large development, and that the project would increase traffic on the highway, plus impact South Shore's gaming industry.
Caltrans says it stands by its decision to be represented by the project applicant's attorney. It has retained the right to "approve all arguments and pleadings" made on its behalf, said Mark Dinger, Caltrans spokesman.
Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org