Legal Beat

Legal Beat

Barring an appeal, the final challenge to the constitutionality of Ohio’s casinos has ended. Last Fall, a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge ruled against Frederick Kinsey, the last of seventeen members of Ohio Roundtable who had filed a lawsuit in 2011 challenging the constitutionality of casino gambling in Ohio. The judge rejected Kinsey’s claim that his federal constitutional rights had been violated.

Meanwhile in federal court, the latest lawsuit filed by Marshal Lucas, aka Great Elk Dancer for his Elk Nation, has drawn to a close. Marshal is no stranger to the legal process. Since 2013 he has filed a number of lawsuits against various public officials.

This particular lawsuit stems from 2014, when a search warrant was executed on his Logan business, the Red Door Internet Café/Casino. Lucas was charged with 24 counts ranging from illegal gambling, to operating a casino gaming operation, to operating a gambling house. In exchange for a guilty plea to three of the charges, the remaining twenty-one were dismissed. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, which was suspended, fined $100 plus court costs and put on probation for one year.

In January 2016, Lucas filed a $500 million lawsuit claiming malicious prosecution and political and racial discrimination. Lucas claimed to be the Chief of the Notoweega Nation. In August, a federal judge denied a motion from Lucas that he be allowed to proceed Pro Se as an Indian Tribe. In his ruling, the judge stated that Lucas couldn’t act on behalf of the Notoweega Nation and that he had 30 days to find counsel or the case would be dismissed. Thirty days went by and the case was closed in September. However, Lucas was persistent. He filed a motion for leave to appeal in forma pauperis. In December, the judge issued an order denying the motion and ruled the case remain closed.

In Fayette County, Thomas Long plead guilty to two counts of illegal gambling. Long operated Lucky You in Jeffersonville and Lucky You Two in Wilmington. In December 2015, search warrants were executed at both locations as well as Long’s home in Washington Court House.

As part of the plea deal, Long will forfeit more than $400,000 to the state and will be on community controlled probation for one year.

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