Madison County Native American Affairs Committee opposes extension

Members of the Madison County Board of Supervisors Native American Affairs Committee voted in executive session last week to oppose a request for an extension from the United States in the Oneida Indian Nation Corporation's land into trust case.

"We and lots of others have challenged the decision," said Acting County Administrator Paul Miller, who said there are seven cases that probably will be considered. "[Those cases] may be consolidated. But part of the process of preparing for this case is having the United States provide the administrative record that forged their decision. The administrative record will be an issue in all of them."

The statute of limitations is running for the U.S. to produce that record: One that lead to a decision to accept into trust more than 13,000 acres of OINC land into trust. Attorneys for the U.S. have requested an extension to March 1.

According to draft minutes of the Sept. 9 meeting, which immediately after being called to order went into executive session for the advice of legal counsel, obtained from the county, Supervisor Daniel Degear (R -- DeRuyter) moved, and Supervisor Rocco J. DiVeronica (R,C -- Lenox) seconded, action to oppose the request for an extension.

Miller said Friday that the Upstate Citizens for Equality have already filed opposition papers, that he doesn't think the city of Oneida is going to and he doesn't know whether the others have answered the question yet.

"The state I don't think they know what they're going to do yet," Miller said, "and the Stockbridge Munsees' action is filed in Washington, D.C."

Since the U.S. had made a plea for an extension and the county's not agreed to it, a judge likely will have to make a decision based on the merit of each side's arguments, Miller said.

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