Tigua Leader's Past Could Hamper Gambling Bid

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lawmakers say the Tigua tribe's bid for casino gambling could be sidetracked by their leader's criminal record.

Lawmakers tell the El Paso Times that the Tigua tribe was given word this week that the chances of passing any gambling legislation during the current session are minuscule. One of the factors is the criminal record of tribal Gov. Frank Paiz.

The Tiguas are seeking to resume gambling at the Speaking Rock Casino, but the issue has met resistance, in part because of Paiz's criminal record dating to 1987. The newspaper reported last year that he had been charged with a variety of offenses, including theft, drunken driving and assaulting a police officer.

Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, said there are "insurmountable obstacles" for the tribe as well as proponents of gambling in general. He told the Times that about 40 Republicans have already vowed not to vote for any gambling legislation.

The newspaper said Paiz did not return phone calls seeking comment about the latest development and his criminal history.

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