The mayor of Broken Arrow says he'll step down amid criticism of a proposed Indian casino.
Mayor Mike Lester says he'll resign as mayor but retain his seat on the city council. Lester says he does not want good news in Broken Arrow to be overshadowed by the casino controversy.
Last week, the National Indian Gaming Commission said the site for a proposed casino in Broken Arrow can't be used for gambling. The Kialegee Tribal Town hoped to build the Red Clay Casino there.
Vice Mayor Craig Thurmond will assume the mayor's position. Lester has served as Broken Arrow's mayor since 2009.
Read News Release from City of Broken Arrow:
Lester to resign position as Broken Arrow Mayor
Will retain position as Ward 3 City Councilor
Broken Arrow, Okla. (May 29, 2012) – Broken Arrow Mayor Mike Lester announced he will step aside from his post as Mayor, but will retain his seat on the City Council effective May 29.
“It is my opinion that the office of the mayor is a position, and not a person,” Lester said. “So to that end, I will remove myself from the office of Mayor. I do not want the many good things occurring in Broken Arrow to be overshadowed by the recent events related to the proposed casino. From my perspective, the lunch with Ms. Giles was nothing more than an informal discussion with a family friend, but I feel it’s in the best interest of the city that I step aside from my post as mayor. I love this city and will continue to serve not only the residents of ward 3, but the entire City of Broken Arrow as I have done over the past 30 years.”
Vice Mayor Craig Thurmond will assume the role of Mayor and the council will elect a new Vice Mayor at its next council meeting.
Lester was elected to city council in April 2007 and has served as mayor since 2009.