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California | Compacts
Gaming compacts were sent to wrong room at DOI


Four controversial gaming compacts were sent to the wrong room at the main Interior Department building in Washington, D.C., but no one appears to know why it took so long for them to end up in the right place at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The compacts for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and the Agua Caliente Band of Mission Indians were sent to Room 2070. That used to be the office of George Skibine, the head of the BIA's Office of Indian Gaming Management.

The room is now home to Interior's Accessible Technology Center. A staffer there says she immediately forwarded the Federal Express package with the compacts to the office of assistant secretary Carl Artman.

But no one knows what happened after that. “Apparently no one there will acknowledge or remembers getting the package,” Skibine told Copley News Service. “That's where we lose the trail.”

The package finally ended up in Skibine's new office 80 days later -- yet no one knows how it got there. As a result, Skibine was forced to have the compacts "deemed approved" because the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires approval of Class III compacts within 45 days.

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