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A Premature Compact Approval

August 19, 2020 PRESS RELEASE

No Casino In Plymouth (NCIP) respectfully takes issue with Governor Newsom’s recent signing of a compact with the Ione Band. A seemingly premature action given that NCIP has two challenges in Federal Court related to the BIA’s unethical administration of the Ione Band’s 2006 fee to trust application that have not been decided. This signing does not clear the way for the casino as claimed by the Ione Band. The Compacct is not enforceable until approved by the Legislature and then approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

NCIP doubts the Governor was informed of the NCIP lawsuits by officials of the Ione Band who continue to misinform the public about the history of the Ione Band and the status of the land in Plymouth. He may not be aware that Ione is not eligible for fee to trust pursuant to the IRA or that Ione is a landless tribe not eligible for the ILCA as alleged by NCIP in their lawsuits. The first lawsuit is a May 2018 challenge to the May 2012 Record of Decision to take 12 parcels (228.04 acres) in trust for Ione for a casino pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act. (IRA) The second is a July 2020 challenge to the March 20, 2020 action taken by the Acting Regional Director allegedly accepting 10 parcels (~224 acres) in trust for the Ione Band pursuant to the Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA). And it is likely he is not aware the Acting Regional Director has no authority to accept land in trust pursuant to the ILCA.

NCIP will be communicating the facts related to the Ione Band, the BIA’s unethical administration of the Ione fee to trust, the IRA, and the ILCA with the Governor, Assemblyman Bigelow, Senator Borgeas, other State Legislators. We will request the Governor withdraw his signature and that the legislature take no action on the Ione Compact until all the federal court challenges and any appeals are final. These requests are more than reasonable and it is only fair that the Governor and the legislature hear from the community of Plymouth and learn the documented facts about the Ione Band’s fee to trust application for a casino administered by the BIA that is not in compliance with federal statutes, federal regulations, or Federal Court decisions. For additional information contact NCIP at [email protected]