By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators will preserve its right to sue the state over approximately $1.8 million from the Tribal Gaming Compact.
County lawmakers have authorized the Wladis Law Firm to file a claim that will allow the county to sue New York State for casino compact money owed to St. Lawrence County.
The issue stems from a decision by the St. Regis Mohawk tribe to withhold money it owed to the state because of a perceived violation of an exclusivity agreement it had to operate the casino.
In recent months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a deal had been made with the tribe, which resulted in St. Lawrence County receiving half of the $3.6 million it was owed in back payments.
The other half, $1.8 million, is held in an escrow account as negotiations between the state and the tribe continues.
According to resolution brought forward by Legislator John Putney D-Waddington, the county has been advised by its outside counsel that the filing of a notice of intent to file a claim should be filed at this time to preserve the ability of the county to file claim in against the State of New York for damages sustained by the County arising from the breach of payment in the Tribal State Gaming Compact.
The action will preserve the county's right to file a claim at a later date if the county deems it in the best interest of the to do so.
The board passed with measure unanimously, however legislators Jim Bunstone D-Potsdam and Alex MacKinnon R-Fowler were absent.