Oneida Nation of New York


Oneida County should break off the agreement that deputizes the Nation tribal police force, say a group of local lawmakers. Following the end of out-of-court settlement talks, seven Oneida County lawmakers called on Sheriff Dan Middaugh to cancel the 6-year-old pact. The legislators also called on the county to collect property and sales taxes from the Oneidas, enforce alcoholic beverage control laws on Oneida-owned property and stop the Oneidas from dredging an Oneida Lake marina. The county's move is "saber-rattling without a sword," said Mark Emery, a spokesman for the Oneida Indian Nation. If the deputization agreement was terminated, the area would lose 40 police officers with a combined 900 years of experience, he said. The Nation police force consists of many former state troopers and other law enforcement professionals. Additionally, Emery said, the county would violate federal law if it tried to impose property taxes on Indian land. And, the nation is not breaking any alcoholic beverage control laws, he said. Middaugh and Madison County Sheriff Ron Cary have been weighing for six months whether to continue the deputization agreement, signed in 1994. They are not ready to make a decision, Middaugh said.