Casino Manager Returns After 4-Month Suspension

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James Gannarelli is expected to return as general manager of the Mazatzal Casino today following a 120-day suspension.

The suspension was imposed by the Arizona Department of Gaming. The action was the result of three violations of the casino's gaming compact, including two incidents of failure to secure certification for employees and purchase limits, according to published reports.

"We believe that the penalty imposed on Mr. Gannarelli is fair and appropriate." That is the official position of the Tonto Apache Tribal Council as stated in a formal release on the matter, provided to the Roundup Oct. 9.

According to the tribal council's release, "Under the settlement agreement and release signed by James Gannarelli and the Arizona Department of Gaming on Aug. 20, 2002, Mr. Gannarelli admitted that there was evidence to support the conclusion that he had violated three sections of the gaming compact between the Tonto Apache Tribe and the State of Arizona. Under that agreement, the Department of Gaming also agreed to withdraw charges that Mr. Gannarelli had violated six other compact provisions."

During the 120-day suspension of Gannarelli's state certification, he has not been on the Tonto Apache Reservation and he has had no contact or involvement with the Mazatzal Casino, according to the release.

The suspension was without pay and his duties were temporarily assigned to other employees.

The period of suspension ended Oct. 10, 2002 and the tribal council expected Gannarelli to resume his duties as general manager of the casino today.

"At that time, Mr. Gannarelli will also be advised that he must avoid any compact violations in the future and we expect his full compliance with that directive," the council's statement concluded.

Gannarelli's only comment to the Roundup Friday morning was, "I'm glad to be back and happy."

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