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Schumer to oppose nomination of former tribal liaison

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced April 19 he planned to oppose the nomination of Judith Hard, Gov. George Pataki's choice for U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of New York, according to the Associated Press.

Hard was Pataki's liaison with tribes during the tax negotiations in the 1990's and is currently the administrator of state's World Trade Center Relief Fund, but Schumer was concerned about her lack of experience as a prosecutor and in litigation.

Additionally, Hard was the principal designer of bogus tax compacts with several of New York's Indian nations in 1997. In a move reminiscent of historic land swindles (as but one example), Hard's negotiating team had proclaimed the confirmation of a tax compact with the Mohawk nation by stating it had obtained the signatures of two Mohawks. However, the two individuals in question held no formal power or authority to sign and approve any documents with New York State -- their names not appearing on an official list of approved Mohawk negotiators supplied in advance to the State. Repeated attempts by Indian Country Today to gain access to any and all information related to the bogus 1997 tax compacts have been consistently refused by New York State government.

Schumer does plan to support Pataki's other choice of state Inspector General Roslyn Mauskopf. She has been subject to criticisms as for her close personal relationship with the governor and her perceived reluctance to pursue investigations of Pataki's administration.

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Schumer is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and its sub-committee on courts that has jurisdiction over federal court nominations.