February 20, 2009
PLYMOUTH, CA – The Ione Band of Miwok Indians hopes to build An Indian casino on 228 acres the tribe bought in Plymouth, just 50 miles from Stockton. It would include 2000 slot machines and 40 gaming tables.
However, their plans may face an uphill battle. A Department of the Interior memorandum issued January 16th by the Bush Administration states the Ione Band of Miwok Indians is not a restored tribe and therefore cannot legally use the land it bought to build a casino.
The memo was written by Department of the Interior Solicitor David L. Bernhardt just 4 days before the inauguration of President Obama. Now Ken Salazar is the new Secretary of the Interior, and he will soon appoint a replacement for Solicitor Bernhardt. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nedra Darling, confirmed that Bernhardt's memo is valid, but not yet final. It will be reviewed by the new administration.
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