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Howard Stutz

Pinnacle CEO Dan Lee resigns from company

10 November 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Pinnacle Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer resigned his positions with the Las Vegas-based casino operator, the company announced this morning.

The moves comes a week after Missouri gaming officials said they were investigating Lee's actions at a zoning meeting by the St. Louis County Council, where he reportedly threatened a commissioner.

Pinnacle operates two riverboat casinos in St. Louis, the $407 million Lumiere Place hotel-casino and the President. The company also is building a $400 million hotel-casino complex in the St. Louis suburbs.

In a statement, the company said Lee resigned "to pursue other business interests."

Lee took over Pinnacle earlier this decade and moved the casino operator's headquarters from Southern California to Las Vegas. He led the company's expansive growth over the last few years, which included building Las Vegas-style casinos in Missouri and Louisiana.

Two former Las Vegas gaming executives serving on the company's board of directors, will take over the company on an interim basis.

Former Aladdin and Harrah's executive Richard Goeglein has been named interim nonexecutive chairman and former Las Vegas Hilton President John Giovenco has been named interim chief executive officer.

Goeglein and Giovenco will oversee the company's operations while the board conducts an executive search for a new president and chief executive officer.