Griffo Urges Paterson to Disclose Casino Deal Details

Griffo: Release Full Terms of Casino Agreement

State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-IP-C, Rome) today called upon Governor David Paterson and his administration to release all of the terms and conditions of the proposed agreement with the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe that will allow the tribe to develop a Catskill Casino and give up their Central New York land claims.

“This is a major agreement that impacts people all across New York State, and the people should have the opportunity to see what its terms actually are,” Griffo said. “Reform and open government should be watchwords of how New York State operates. Keeping this deal a secret is a disservice to the people who are directly impacted in my Central New York District and in the region of the proposed casino as well as all the citizens of New York who are impacted by the actions of state government.”

Griffo said the state’s Freedom of Information Law requires that governments disclose terms of contract settlements once a final offer has been made. The same should hold true in this case, he said in a letter sent to Governor David Paterson requesting that Paterson turn the document over to Griffo and his staff for release to the public.

“Just because federal approvals are made does not mean that the people have no rights to see what the state is asking the federal government to approve,” Griffo said. “The best way to ensure that we have a good deal and a fair deal for all involved is to lay out all the details to the people.  The state has reached a final agreement and is seeking approvals form higher levels of government. That’s not the same as an internal draft document, and the administration should know the difference. The document is a major public document and should be released at once.”