either. All it proves is that Chief Ransom may not have been as
knowledgeable about the Tribe's casino dealings as plaintiffs would have
hoped. In this regard, I note that Chief Ransom responded to a number of
questions directed to her by suggesting that the other chiefs should be
asked because, "I don't know gaming."
I am unmoved by the Tribe's argument that the reference to
"Monticello, New York" in Section 1 of the Gaming Authority's Charter
limits the activities of the Gaming Authority to a casino to be located
in that municipality. There are numerous other references in the document
to the "Property" on which the "Enterprise" (i.e., a duly authorized
commercial gaming enterprise of the Authority) is to be located. In every
such instances, the "Property" is defined only as being located in
Sullivan County — a county that includes Monticello but is not
limited to Monticello. I further note that Tribal Resolution 96-22, which
authorized the creation of the Gaming Authority describes the purpose of
the Authority as the management of "the day-to-day operations of a gaming
facility in Sullivan County," not Monticello.
However, the Charter also delegates extensive powers to the "Management
Board." McDonald is not a member of that Board, and plaintiff's counsel
did not establish through questioning at the depositions of Chiefs Ransom
and Smoke that McDonald was either a member of that Board or that he
operated as an agent of the Management Board in its dealings with anyone.
Therefore, the necessary nexus between McDonald and the Gaming Authority
has not been established to my satisfaction.
In 1996, when the original charter of the St. Regis Mohawk Gaming
Authority was adopted, the Tribe determined to conduct its affairs
relating to casino development in Sullivan County through the Authority.
This Authority, and the resolutions pursuant to which it was created,
were the work of a Tribal Council that now competes with the Three Chiefs
(Park Place's allies, and the subjects of plaintiffs' deposition
subpoenas) for control of the Tribe's governance and its potentially
lucrative gaming opportunities. The Three Chiefs, representing the
pro-defendant faction of the Tribe, appear to be by-passing the Gaming
Authority as a development vehicle — no doubt because it was
chartered by the enemy faction within the Tribe. For example, it appears
to me that Park Place entered into its agreement with the Tribe, not with
the Gaming Authority. It is thus quite possible that McDonald, who was
not a member of the Management Board when the Authority was established,
could have had dealings with defendant that were not undertaken on behalf
of the Authority. Plaintiffs have had ample opportunity to make the case
that he so acted; they have failed to adduce any proof. This matter will
not be revisited.
On another matter entirely, I trust that in the upcoming summary
judgment motion papers the parties will address the recent decision of
the Appellate Division, Third Department, in which the Appellate Division
affirmed Judge Teresi's order declaring that the Governor of the State of
New York has no power to negotiate and enforce compacts with Indian
tribes to facilitate casino development without legislative approval.
Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Inc. v. Pataki, 2002 WL 826037 (3d
Dep't, May 2, 2002).
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