Lumbee Tribe meets about deal with gaming consultant

Pembroke, North Carolina (AP) May 2010

Officials of a North Carolina tribe are defending a closed meeting to discuss details of a deal with a gaming consultant that leaders hope will help the tribe earn federal recognition.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that the Lumbee tribal counsel invited the entire tribe to the early May meeting at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

At least one tribe member who opposes the agreement with the Las Vegas consultant said closing the meeting was unfair. Tribe spokesman Alex Baker defended the closed meeting, saying it was a family issue.

North Carolina Press Association attorney Amanda Martin says the meeting was legal because no federal or state laws regarding open meetings apply to the Lumbee tribe.

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