RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The owners of Rapid City hotel are facing a lawsuit over a social media post by one of them that promised to ban Native Americans from the property.
The lawsuit comes from a shareholder who happens to be a relative of the family that owns the Gateway Hotel.
Judson Uhre recently filed a lawsuit in Pennington County against his mother, Connie Uhre, and his brothers, Nick and Chad Uhre, as well as the company that operates the hotel, Retsel Corporation.
Judson is alleging a breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder oppression and interference in the hotel's operation, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Connie Uhre, Retsel's president, garnered widespread attention last spring when she said on social media that she would no longer allow American Indians on the property following a fatal shooting at the hotel involving two teenagers which police said where Native American.
Amid protests, the hotel shut down for about a month. After reopening, Connie Uhre was arrested May 31 for allegedly spraying a cleaning product at demonstrators outside the hotel. The demonstrators were members of the NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led activist organization.
“Connie Uhre had a duty of care to ensure that she conducts herself in a manner not prejudicial to the business of the corporation, however, she went ahead and made a racially charged rant which was posted on a website with wide coverage and this led to financial loss of clients for the hotel as well as the damage to the hotel’s reputation,” Judson Uhre said in his lawsuit.
Judson’s filing seeks any and all damages due as a result of his family’s action.
Connie, Nick and Chad Uhre did not immediately return a phone message for comment.