Gov. Susana Martinez told the state Supreme Court on Wednesday that because the Fort Sill Apaches lack federal approval for casino gambling on their New Mexico reservation, she is not required to sign a compact with them.
The Martinez administration asked the Supreme Court to reject the tribe’s request, filed last month, to order the governor to sign gambling agreements.
Lawyers for Martinez said in the response filed Wednesday that the tribe had “overstated and misrepresented” the effects of the governor’s refusal to sign anything now.
The Fort Sill Apaches – who have had an ongoing dispute with Martinez – claim the governor has a duty to sign gambling compacts with the tribe that are identical to those signed by other tribes in 2001 and 2007. The tribe says that while it can’t operate a casino now, having compacts would preserve its interest in gambling in the future.