The Poarch Band of Creek Indians gave $500,000 to a Republican group that contributed to 2010 legislative races, but state Republicans say they didn't direct the donation.
Republican Senate leader Del Marsh says he met with the tribe in 2009 but didn't ask for the donation.
Marsh says he was hoping to prevent the tribe from bankrolling Democrats. He told members of the tribal council that the GOP majority would not oppose legal gambling operations.
The tribe gave $550,000 to the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee.