California Tribe Sues Over Stalled Compact - Monday 30th of January 2006

SACRAMENTO, California – As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune: "Frustrated by lawmakers' refusal to act on its new gambling agreement, an Imperial County Indian tribe has filed a federal lawsuit that could establish a legal path around the Legislature for other tribes in similar situations.

"The Quechan tribe will ask a federal court to send it and the state to a mediator, where both would submit their last best offers for a new compact. Under federal law, the mediator would have to choose one of the two.

"The last best offer of both Quechan and the state is the compact that the Legislature, at the behest of other big gaming tribes, has refused to consider.

"'The governor negotiated a compact that he is satisfied with,' said Larry Stidham, a Ramona attorney who represents Quechan. 'The tribe is satisfied with that. The governor submits the compact to the court, the deal is done. That takes the Legislature out of the process.'

"…A spokesman for the governor said the administration was reviewing the lawsuit…"

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