Claremore Daily Progress

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July 18, 2013

Chickasaw governor hopeful on water lawsuit talks



Weintz said former Secretary of State Glenn Coffee, who was hired Wednesday to be the general counsel for business and industry group The State Chamber, will continue to represent Fallin in negotiations with the tribes, along with the attorney general’s office, which represents the state.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Sardis Lake, which straddles Latimer and Pushmataha counties in a southeast Oklahoma region from where Oklahoma City has received water in the past. The tribes allege they have been excluded from negotiations between the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Oklahoma City Water Utility Trust in spite of the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek that they claim gives them authority over water resources in their jurisdictions.

State officials maintain that other treaties must also be considered, including one signed by the tribes in 1866 that they claim relinquished tribal rights following the tribes’ revolt against the United States during the Civil War.

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