Mostly clear

Graton Resort and Casino foes court Petaluma

Leaders of a group suing to stop the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park urged Petaluma-area residents Wednesday night to pressure their city leaders to join their legal battle as a means to stop the Dry Creek Rancheria from building a casino on pasture land just south of the city limits.

As the Graton casino plans its Nov. 5 opening, the Stop the Casino 101 Coalition is seeking the support of the Petaluma City Council. The group is appealing a Sonoma County judge's August ruling against their effort to invalidate Graton's contract with the state that allowed the Las Vegas-style casino on the tribe's 254-acre Wilfred Avenue parcel.

In a meeting attended by about two dozen residents, group leaders Chip Worthington and lawyer Bruce Miroglio urged Petalumans to attend Monday night's council meeting, where the council is set to discuss legal matters with the city attorney in a closed session before the regular meeting.

Closed-session discussions are secret, but if the council takes action — to join the coalition's lawsuit or initiate its own — it must be announced publicly. The closed-session agenda begins at 6 p.m.

"The best way to stop Dry Creek in Petaluma is to stop Graton," Miroglio said. "When you start getting cities involved it adds a certain gravitas."

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