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BIA Rejects Paugussetts' Appeal of Recognition Denial

25 October 2004

Las Vegas Sun

HARTFORD, Conn. -- An appeals board within the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has rejected the Golden Hill Paugussetts' request to reconsider denial of federal recognition for the tribe.

The rejection effectively ends the Paugussetts' efforts before the BIA to get recognition, which would bring many benefits to the Trumbull-based tribe, including the right to negotiate with the state to open a gambling casino, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Friday.

An attorney for the tribe said Friday that the appeals board's decision was not a rejection. The board decided that it lacked jurisdiction and sent it to the Secretary of the Interior, said Bernard Wishnia, the tribe's lawyer.

"This is not a bad thing," Wishnia said. "It's a neutral thing. It's part of the process."

The Paugussetts alleged that the BIA violated the tribe's due process rights when it rejected the tribe's application in June for the second time.

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