Chairman of Otoe-Missouria Tribe disputes fine in lending dispute

The office of American Web Loans in Red Rock, Oklahoma, owned by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. Photo by Jane Daugherty.

Chairman John Shotton of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in Oklahoma is fighting a $700,000 fine that the state of Connecticut imposed on him in January.

Shotton said he wasn't given a chance to defend himself or participate in the process. He has filed a civil rights lawsuit that challenges the state's authority over him.

"The lawsuit I filed in federal court is my response to the unprecedented, unwarranted, unconstitutional and unjustified attacks by these Connecticut banking regulators," Shotton said in a press release. "The state of Connecticut, without allowing me to respond to the allegations against me, and without any semblance of due process, has issued a final judgment against me for $700,000. This is an example of the most egregious form of racial discrimination and this action is a direct violation of the civil rights afforded me under the Constitution of the United States and US law. "

The Connecticut Department of Banking fined Shotton $700,000 and two tribal entities $800,000. The state claims the tribe's online lending business violates banking laws.

In addition to raising a civil rights claim, Shotton said he is entitled to sovereign immunity as the tribe's leader. The complaint in the case, Shotton v. Pitkin, was posted by Turtle Talk.

Get the Story:
Oklahoma tribe's leader files lawsuit to challenge payday loan fines (The Oklahoman 3/12)
CT target of Okla. tribe's civil-rights suit (The Hartford Business Journal 3/11)

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