FORT MCDOWELL, Ariz. (AP) — The longtime leader of Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation who was recognized as a leader in the tribal gambling industry has died.
Tribal Vice President Bernadine Burnette says Clinton Pattea died Friday morning at his home in Fountain Hills.
His family held a celebration last month to honor his legacy, knowing his health was failing. They said a scholarship fund will benefit Pattea's passion for education, culture, health and wellness.
Pattea served on the Tribal Council for more than four decades.
His refusal to give up small slot-machine operations when the state under former Gov. Fife Symington declared them were illegal led Arizona into compact negotiations with tribes. Now, tribes operate about two dozen casinos in Arizona.
The Arizona Gaming Association says Pattea's courageous actions protected tribal sovereignty.