April 20, 2015

Fort Sill Apache asks NM Supreme Court for a second look

Courtesy of Jeff Kubina via Flickr

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe asked the New Mexico Supreme Court last Friday to reconsider the court’s decision to block the tribe from  access to gaming compacts.

Courtesy of Jeff Kubina via Flickr

Courtesy of Jeff Kubina via Flickr

The request comes less than a month after the court upheld Gov. Susana Martinez’s decision to keep Fort Sill from signing on to a gaming compact.

Fort Sill Chairman Jeff Haozous argues that Martinez is “actively blocking” the tribe’s attempts to rebuild a community in southern New Mexico.

In February, Fort Sill asked New Mexico’s high court to allow the tribe to sign a gaming compact. Three of the justices decided to deny the tribe’s petition, with no explanation or opinion.

In the latest court filing, Fort Sill wrote that the Martinez administration is taking legal liberties where it should not. They also claim the governor is acting hostile towards the tribe.

Haozous told New Mexico Political Report said the Martinez administration is actively excluding his tribe by not allowing them to sign the compact that is awaiting federal approval.

“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “There’s no reason for us to be singled out in the compact and be excluded.”

The governor’s office didn’t respond to repeated emails and phone calls for this story..

If the compact in question is not approved by the U.S. Department of Interior by June 30 of this year, the tribe’s involved would risk closing their gaming facilities until they get approval.


  • Andy Lyman

    Andy Lyman is an Albuquerque based reporter. He previously covered the New Mexico's legislative session for the New Mexico News Network and served as a reporter and host for numerous news outlets.