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Judge denies Schaghticoke bid for further materials in recognition appeal 7-07

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A federal judge has issued a ruling that
could clear the way for a decision on an appeal by the Kent-based
Schaghticoke Tribal nation for federal recognition.

U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Dorsey has denied the Schaghticoke
request for further discovery in an ongoing lawsuit appealing their
denial of federal recognition.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who had successfully challenged
the state-recognized tribe's federal recognition, said the ruling
effectively sets a limit on what further information the tribe could
seek.

“Further subpoenas and depositions would only prolong an already
farfetched and fruitless fishing expedition,” Blumenthal said
Monday. “The federal government rightly denied the group's request
for recognition because it failed to meet the criteria for federal
tribal status.”

The Schaghticokes were given federal acknowledgment by the Department
of Interior in early 2004, but the decision was reversed in late 2005
by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals after Blumenthal filed an
appeal.

Schaghticoke Chief Richard Velky said the Schaghticokes still have
court-approved discovery to conduct that would shed light on its
claim that improper political influence killed their recognition
effort.

“In the very near future, we will lay out all of the information
we've gathered so the public can see what some of Connecticut's
highest elected officials did to our tribe,” Velky said Monday.

On March 19, Dorsey ordered the lobbying firm Barbour, Griffith and
Rogers to provide the Schaghticokes' attorneys with all documents
relating to the firm's contacts from January 2004 through December
2005 with members of Congress and Interior Department officials
concerning the tribe.

The tribe offices in Derby, but its reservation is in Kent.

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Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com
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