Former casino manager wins N. Idaho tribal post 5-8-07

PLUMMER, Idaho (AP) - Fired Coeur d'Alene Casino manager David
Matheson said his election this week to a three-year term on the
Coeur d'Alene Tribe's seven-person governing council is vindication
for his ouster a year ago.

Matheson was fired in May 2006 after running the casino for 13 years,
during which he built the operation from a small bingo hall in 1993
into one of Kootenai County's largest employers.

A lawsuit filed against him by the tribal government in 1st District
Court alleges fraud and corporate waste and abuse of tribal property.
It contends Matheson gave a former employee a $684,000 severance
package, then tried to hide the deal from the tribe.

Matheson says his firing and the lawsuit were politically motivated.
He said he was uncertain how his election Monday to the governing
council would affect the lawsuit.

“We haven't talked about it,” he said. “It feels like justice is
working its course and all things come around, and I guess it's
coming around.”

Charlotte Nilson was also elected to the council. Together, Nilson
and Matheson replace Francis SiJohn, who didn't seek re-election, and
Norma Peone, who wasn't re-elected. After the election, the new
council voted 4-3 in a secret ballot to retain Chief James Allan as
chairman.

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