Cayuga’s Stop Seneca County From Testing Gas Pumps

The Cayuga Indians said they would resist efforts by Seneca and Cayuga County officials to test gas pumps at their Lakeside Trading Gas Stations and Bingo Halls in Seneca Falls and Union Springs and they doing just that. On Friday, Seneca County Director of Weights and Measures Sue Sauvageau was not allowed to test the gasoline pumps. She was turned away by store employees. Seneca County is now going to court to get permission allow Sauvageau to test the pumps. Seneca County Attorney Steven Getman says he will file the legal paper work necessary to allow the testing or impose a civil penalty against the tribe. Fines could reach up to $10,000 dollars for repeated violations of the court order.The legal papers will be filed in the next couple of days in State Supreme Court. Getman says he has notified the Cayuga’s about the county’s intention to pursue the matter in court. Meanwhile, Daniel French, a lawyer for some of the Cayuga’s, told the Syracuse Post Standard the tribe would “not consent” to permitting Seneca County to test its gas pumps in Seneca Falls without legal backing. "If they want to show up with some legal mechanism that has the right weight of law, then we will consider doing it,” French told the newspaper.Officials from the counties say the city of Sherrill’s recent U.S. Supreme Court tax-case win over the Oneida Indian Nation of New York bolsters their opinion that the Cayuga’s properties no longer qualify as sovereign. As a result, officials say, the tribe must obey all local laws and pay property taxes on its real estate holdings in both counties. That includes allowing the Cayuga’s gas pumps to be tested for weights and measures accuracy.


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