Controversial Lawsuit Alleges County Board of Supervisors’ Illegal Deal with Redding Rancheria

REDDING, California — A lawsuit was filed on February 13 against the Shasta County Board of Supervisors by the California Land Stewardship Council. The civil complaint claims that the board’s approval of a services agreement with the Redding Rancheria for a new casino site was illegal.

According to the lawsuit, the board majority “gave away millions of dollars of public funds” by approving the agreement without proper cost analysis, disregarding recommendations from county staff, and not aligning with county policies.

The California Land Stewardship Council, which filed the lawsuit, is an LLC incorporated just days before the complaint was submitted. The identities of those behind the suit are shielded due to the incorporation process. The lawsuit reveals that at least one Shasta County resident is represented in the case.

The Redding Rancheria, although not named as a party in the suit, responded with a critical press release. The Rancheria accused the lawsuit of being politically motivated and designed to impact the upcoming Shasta County elections. The timing of the lawsuit, filed just before the March primaries, is referenced as evidence of its political motives. The Redding Rancheria has donated to the campaigns of several supervisors who voted for the services agreement.

Supervisors Kevin Crye and Patrick Jones, both of whom voted for the agreement, are facing election challenges. Allegations made in the lawsuit mirror those brought forward by recall proponents who claim the current board majority has made reckless decisions.

The agreement between the board and the Rancheria pertains to the Tribe’s proposed casino site, referred to as the Strawberry Fields. This site has been the subject of a previous lawsuit in 2019 filed by the Rancheria against the City of Redding. The court ruled in favor of the Tribe, citing evidence of back-door dealings between the city manager and a landowner that obstructed the casino’s development.

The recent lawsuit adds to the ongoing legal battles surrounding the casino project. The outcome will undoubtedly impact the county and the future of the Redding Rancheria’s casino plans. The full lawsuit can be viewed online.

It should be noted that the Committee to Recall Kevin Crye provided information about the lawsuit, although they claimed not to be involved in it or aware of those behind it. The Shasta Scout, the source of this article, has received a grant from the Redding Rancheria, maintaining editorial independence.