NY Gov. Paterson rejects Seneca offer to resolve casino payment dispute

Paterson-Seneca-DisputeNew York Gov. David Paterson has rejected a proposal by the Seneca Nation of Indians to resolve their battle over payments the state says the Senecas are unfairly withholding, and which the Senecas claim is a protest over the state’s violations of their gambling compact.

Local municipalities rely heavily on the 25% of the state’s share that is remitted to them. Recognizing that their neighbors have been suffering as a result of the dispute, the Senecas offered to pay the municipalities directly, while still pursuing their claim against the state. But Gov. Paterson has rejected this plan, saying ‘that’s now how government works”. Also not working are the 49 people who have been laid off by the city of Salamanca as a result of their depleted treasury.

On a (perhaps) related note, the Seneca Nation recently acquired a controlling interest in CT COMM, a Washington, DC-based company that provides wireless communications services for government agencies. Coincidence? Let’s just say that if we were Gov. Paterson, we wouldn’t use our cell phone to engage in any high-level strategy discussions with state lawyers on the Seneca payments issue.