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GREAT FALLS - The Blackfeet Tribe has fired the manager of its new Glacier Peaks Casino about three months after its grand opening, tribal officials said.

Board members for the Siyeh Corp., the tribe's economic development arm, voted unanimously Thursday to let Gary Green go, said board member Virgil Edwards.

"Gary Green did what he could for us to date and he brought us to where we're at now," Edwards said. "The board felt we needed to go in a different direction."

Edwards said he expects a new manager will be hired within the next three to four months.

Siyeh is considering hiring a consulting team to "come in and retool us and refocus us and re-energize the staff and move toward an operation that's more conducive to our local needs," Edwards said.

Edwards said he doesn't expect any layoffs among the 80 employees, but said patrons may notice some changes, including "a more customer service-oriented type of operation that major casinos use."

Green, 53, was hired last spring and presided over the casino's grand opening in late September.

The person who answered the phone at the casino on Saturday confirmed the firing, but did not have any contact information for Green.

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Green had previously worked at two tribally owned casinos. He served as vice president of marketing at the Spotlight 29 Casino near Los Angeles and later managed the Thunderbird Casino for the Absentee Shawnee Tribe in Norman, Okla., where he was fired.

Shawnee Gov. Larry Nuckolls accused Green in a tribal newsletter of leaving the casino with steep debt, much of it to unpaid vendors.

Green, who was fired from the Oklahoma casino the day after tribal elections, said he was a victim of tribal politics.

Edwards said Green's termination from Glacier Peaks is "not based on any monetary issue of theft or anything of that nature."

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