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Casino CEO resigns after alleged outburst at council meeting

By KWMU staff

St. Louis – The head of the company that owns the Lumiere Place and President Casinos in St. Louis has resigned, less than a week after he allegedly confronted a St. Louis County councilman about a zoning vote.

In a news release Monday, Pinnacle Entertainment said CEO Dan Lee has left to "pursue other business interests."

County Council member Steve Stenger said last week that Lee flew in from Las Vegas and visited him before Tuesday's meeting. In addition to Lumiere Place and the President casinos downtown, Pinnacle is building a third casino in Lemay, which is in Stenger South County district.

Stenger said Lee asked him to vote against rezoning land in north St. Louis County for a competing casino. When Stenger voted yes anyway, Lee hurried up to the council dais, and allegedly told a staff member that Stenger made the worst move in his political career.

"I was surprised by the conduct," Stenger said. "I had not heard word one from anyone in my district that there was an issue. I voted the way I voted because it was best for my district. It was contrary to his interest, but it was very much in the interest of St. Louis County, and I voted my conscience, and I would do it again."

Lee's outburst is under investigation by Missouri Gaming Commission. A spokeswoman for the commission said the investigation will continue. The Associated Press contributed to this report.