Attorneys for Napa Valley Casino and the city of American Canyon announced in Napa Superior Court on Wednesday morning that the two sides have reached an agreement in their long-running legal battle.
“We have a signed M.O.U. (memorandum of understanding),” said Thomas Gill, attorney for the card room. “The last signature was within the last half-hour.”
Gill asked Judge Michael S. Williams to change the next court date, April 8, from a trial to a final settlement hearing.
City Attorney William Ross said the details of the agreement would be made public before the final hearing.
“Under the Brown Act, this is still not a public document,” Ross said. The Brown Act is the state law that determines how elected officials conduct public business.
American Canyon City Council met in closed session several times last week and Monday and Tuesday nights to discuss the litigation between the city and card room owners Brian Altizer, his wife Von Huang and their partner Keith Miller.
Altizer and his partners have been fighting against paying a $2-per-visitor card room admission tax passed by American Canyon voters in 2010, claiming the tax was illegal. The court has repeatedly rejected that claim, ruling the city has a right to tax gambling establishments. Recently, the state Supreme Court declined card room’s petition to review the case.
The city filed a criminal complaint against the card room for non-payment of the admission tax in October, 2011. Napa Valley Casino owners responded with a civil suit against the city. The pending settlement applies to both cases.
The agreement could clear the way for expanded card room operations, including a restaurant and lounge, according to the terms of the tax ballot measure.