(WIVB) — The Seneca Nation said New York State froze the Nation’s accounts over the weekend.
This is the latest action in an ongoing dispute between the state and the Senecas over casino money. Sources have confirmed the money is the long-disputed payment that NYS says the Senecas owe the state.
Over the weekend, Seneca President Matthew Pagels announced a meeting of the Nation’s council to address what he called “unjust actions” taken by New York State. Here is a statement he released on Monday:
“New York State’s actions over the past few days were purposeful, malicious and politically-motivated.
The State knows – and has known – that the funds in our restricted account are more than sufficient to satisfy any and all Compact-related court orders and decisions against the Nation. This has been documented and proven, as required by the Court, throughout our ongoing legal challenges. Any legal action related to the Compact should have been limited to the restricted account.
Instead, New York State explicitly chose to put thousands of Seneca people, including our Elders needing medications and healthcare services, our children who receive education services, and Nation departments who support the daily lives, safety, health and wellbeing of our people, at risk.
New York State decided to jeopardize the lives and livelihoods of thousands of non-Seneca families who work at our businesses and live in Western New York.
The state has made it clear that the impact of their aggression, on both the Seneca people and many non-Senecas as well, is nothing more than collateral damage in either a coldly calculated attack or an act of blatant disregard for the welfare of thousands of people and families in Western New York, justified as the cost of doing business.
New York has shown, with willful indifference to thousands of people, the type of business partner they want to be. We have endured many wounds and wrongs from New York State during our long co-existence. That history of attacks against our people, our land and our sovereignty serves as a backdrop to every interaction the Seneca Nation has with New York State. It is disappointing that New York has chosen to add yet another chapter to that history just as we prepare for Compact discussions.
The Seneca Nation will provide additional updates following tomorrow’s Council session.”Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels
New York had reached a tentative deal for the Senecas to resume payments to the state, for the casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca.
The Senecas are expected to have an update Tuesday.
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- Seneca Nation votes for federal review before payments are given to NYS, local cities
- Seneca Nation drops long-standing legal action, agrees to new gaming compact talks with NYS