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Navajo President Vetoes Casino Deal

11 August 2005

Las Vegas Sun

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona -- Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. has vetoed a memorandum between the Navajo Nation and Hogback Chapter over a casino the chapter wants to build.

The measure, approved by the Navajo Nation Council on July 21, outlined a proposed revenue sharing agreement with the tribal government if the northwestern New Mexico chapter operated a casino.

Shirley's veto message said he was concerned about how the agreement outlined revenue sharing and distribution of profit, as well as who would pay for infrastructure. The agreement does not clearly set out how profit would be distributed in accordance with federal and state requirements, Shirley wrote.

It would take 59 votes to override Saturday's veto. The legislation passed 47-12, with 29 council members not voting.

When the agreement was approved, Hogback council delegate Ervin Keeswood Sr. called it important step toward establishing a casino, although he also said it didn't guarantee one would be built.

The measure would have given Hogback 80 percent of the net profit during the first five years, 60 percent in the next two years, 40 percent in the eighth year and 20 percent after that. The tribe would have received the balance.

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