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Published October 13, 2009, 07:30 AM

Tribe, gambling official disagree on firing

HANKINSON, N.D. (AP) — A man who supervised the gambling operations of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux tribe has been fired, and he and the Tribal Council disagree about why.

HANKINSON, N.D. (AP) — A man who supervised the gambling operations of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux tribe has been fired, and he and the Tribal Council disagree about why.

Michael Roberts was suspended without pay Sept. 23, two days after he alleged that the manager of Dakota Magic Casino near the southeastern North Dakota town of Hankinson wrote a series of bad checks. Roberts was fired less than two weeks later, and he says it was retaliation.

In the Oct. 2 letter in which Roberts was fired, Tribal Chairman Michael Selvage said Roberts was fired because he hired a new law firm without authorization.

Before Roberts was fired, he asked for whistle-blower protection from both federal officials and state gambling regulators in North Dakota and South Dakota. Tribal Attorney Debra Flute says Roberts is not entitled to such protection.

Roberts was chief executive of Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise, tribal company that owns and operates casinos at Hankinson and at the South Dakota towns of Watertown and Sisseton.

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