Connecticut officials call for probe of Interior Department

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Connecticut officials are calling for an investigation of the U.S. Department of the Interior‘s failure to act on revenue sharing agreements between two Native American tribes that are needed for them to build and operate a new casino.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and U.S. Reps. John Larson and Joe Courtney, asked the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate Monday.

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes operate casinos in Connecticut and are planning a joint casino in northern Connecticut to compete with the MGM Springfield casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, that’s expected to open in September.

Sen. Blumenthal stated, “There is a need for an investigation. There’s an apparent conflict of interest. There’s certainly a betrayal of legal and moral trust by the Interior Department Secretary.”

Connecticut officials also are suing the Interior Department for failing to act on the agreements within 45 days as legally required.

Interior Department officials did not immediately return a message Monday.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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