FROM THE ARCHIVE

Delay in Choctaw decision sought

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THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2002

Rep. Chris John has written Secretary of Interior Gale Norton to ask for a delay on a gaming compact with the Jena Band of Choctaws in Louisiana.

John says more local input is needed before Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb acts. But Gov. Mike Foster, who negotiated the compact, says anyone who's anyone has already met with Norton to discuss the decision.

The tribe, which was recognized in the 1990s, plans on building a casino on the land it wants taken into trust. Norton's counsel, Michael Rossetti, says approving a compact with the tribe hinges on whether sharing 21 percent of revenues meets federal law.

According to a draft analysis obtained by The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Rossetti says the compact is a departure from precedent. But he says its proximity to Texas could warrant exception, the paper says.

A decision on the compact is due by the end of the week.

Get the Story:
Tribal casino dispute shifts to Washington (The New Orleans Times-Picayune 3/7)
Foster opposes postponing decision on Choctaw casino (The Baton Rouge Advocate 3/7)

Related Stories:
La. senator opposes Choctaw casino (3/5)
Norton lobbied on Choctaw casino (2/28)
Foster, Choctaw for casino (2/27)
La. Choctaws facing opposition (2/22)
Jena Choctaw plan large casino (2/7)
Choctaw seeking Louisiana casino (2/6)
AP: Choctaw compact approved (2/5)