Olson named new Kenosha casino project director 7-07

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) - Eric Olson was named Thursday as the new project director in the Menominee Nation's push to build a casino here.

Olson, 59, will work full-time in his new position as casino project director while continuing his duties on the Kenosha Unified School Board.

He previously was the regional sales manager for Cherry Electrical Products, where he worked for 31 years.

In his new role, Olson said he will work with local residents, officials, contractors and others in the effort to develop an $808 million casino complex at Dairyland Greyhound Park.

"A lot of it's going to be making sure that the Menominee Tribe is represented here, that there's a face of the Menominee Tribe in Kenosha," Olson said.

The project is currently awaiting approval from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. It also must be approved by Gov. Jim Doyle.

Olson takes over for Dennis Troha, who sold his interest in the project to the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut earlier this year.

Troha faces up to two years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty last month to making illegal campaign donations both to the Democratic Party and President Bush.

Doyle, a Democrat, and Troha have repeatedly denied that Troha's campaign donations were tied to expected approval of the casino.