A retired Cedar Rapids attorney has filed a lawsuit challenging the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s decision to deny a casino license application for Cedar Rapids. Eugene Kopecky’s lawsuit asks the court to examine the primary reason commission members cited when they made their decision — that a Cedar Rapids casino would take too much business away from nearby casinos.
“Would the Iowa legislature have passed a law that encourges restraint of trade or the creation of monopolies?” Kopecky asks. “And I’d be very surprised to find that the court would say that it’s o.k. to do that.”
Kopecky, who once served as Linn County Attorney, did not have a financial stake in the bid for a Cedar Rapids casino. Jeff Lamberti, chairman of the Racing and Gaming Commission, says anyone has the right to file a lawsuit.
“I’ll give him credit for creativity,” Lamberti says, “…but we, as a commission, believe that we acted well within our statutory authority.”
Kopecky’s lawsuit specifically named Lamberti and three other commission members who voted against a casino for Cedar Rapids. The fifth member of the commission voted yes, and Kopecky isn’t suing her. The head of the investment group that submitted the bid for a Cedar Rapids casino says the group isn’t involved in the lawsuit and didn’t even read through the legal paperwork Kopecky submitted to a district court this week.
(Reporting by Chris Earl, KCRG, Cedar Rapids)