US Attorney: Critic hides contempt for tribes

The following was submitted by Troy Eid, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, in response to an opinion by Phillip T. Doe that was published in the The Denver Rocky Mountain News. Doe is chair of the Citizens Progressive Alliance, a group that opposed the Ute water rights settlement in Colorado.

It is a matter of public record that I have NEVER represented or lobbied for any gambling or gaming interests of any kind, Indian or non-Indian. So Phillip Doe's personal attack on me is untrue as well as cowardly.

Doe, chairman of the Citizens Progressive Alliance (and a longtime opponent of the Animas-LaPlata Water project that settled longstanding water-rights claims by the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes and the Navajo Nation), also tries to smear me by falsely linking me with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

I was employed in the same 1,600-attorney, 34-office law firm - as a partner in Denver in the Litigation Section - starting at about the time that Abramoff was terminated as a lobbyist in the Washington, DC office. We NEVER worked together, in any capacity whatsoever, prior to my own background investigation, nomination by President Bush, and unanimous US Senate confirmation approval as Colorado's United States Attorney.

By lamely trying to discredit me, Doe struggles to deflect attention from his own apparent contempt for Indian people and tribes.

We've heard Doe's supposedly "complex" racism before: That Colorado's two tribes, the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute nations, ought to fix their public safety problem because, as he puts it, they've earned some money through successful tribal businesses.

The truth is that Indian nations (by federal court rulings and Congressional legislation) are forced to depend on the federal government for much of their law enforcement and adjudication needs, particularly when it comes to fighting and preventing violent crime. Those of us in federal law enforcement have a corresponding duty to strengthen public safety on America's Indian reservations.

Both Colorado's tribal governments are working hard to address this challenge, as is US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Colorado's Congressional delegation. Doe's blame-the-Indians approach is a reminder of how far we still must go to ensure equal access to justice for all Americans.

Troy A. Eid
United States Attorney
District of Colorado

Related Stories:
Opinion: Misleading stories on reservation homicide (1/2)
US Attorney: Tribes need more law enforcement (12/04)
Ute Reservation the 'murder capital of Colorado' (11/27)
Report outlines high murder rate of Native women (09/21)
Data shows high rates of Native violence in Farmington (08/31)
Pine Ridge Reservation shelter helps hundreds (08/10)
Walk raises awareness of domestic violence (05/12)
Shakopee Tribe awards anti-domestic violence grant (05/03)
Tribes unite for domestic violence awareness (04/25)
Men sentenced to life in prison for kidnap, rape (01/27)
Domestic violence an epidemic in Indian Country (11/8)
Editorial: Breaking the circle of domestic violence (10/26)
Figures show drop in Indian Country jail population (10/25)
Michigan tribe marches against domestic violence (10/21)
Navajo man leads walk against domestic violence (10/12)
Senate approves violence act with tribal provisions (10/5)
DOJ awards grants for Indian women safety sites (09/22)
Editorial: Protect Native women from domestic violence (09/12)
Domestic violence a problem on Montana reservations (9/9)
Violence Against Women Act set to expire this month (9/6)
Column: Genocide of Indian women continues today (08/15)
Violence Against Women Act includes tribal provisions (06/14)
Study finds high rates of trauma among two tribes (06/01)
Harjo: Native women aren't safe in Indian Country (04/29)
Two charged with rapes on Montana reservation (02/25)
Congress puts focus on Indian Country crime (11/22)
Violent crime on the rise on Navajo Nation (11/02)
Tribal rights recognized in domestic violence bill (10/26)
Alaska wants to reduce tribal powers in child welfare (09/09)
Two grants to combat domestic violence on reservation (09/01)
Justice bill shifts priorities in Indian Country (8/4)
Criminals on Navajo Nation sometimes set free (07/30)
Tribal authority over all Indians still unsettled question (06/23)
Native women in Oklahoma at high risk for violence (05/26)
Federal prosecutor seeks to change 'national shame' (04/19)
IHS compiles domestic violence research (10/29)
Native youth victimization outpaces nation (07/17)
Natives top violent crime list again (4/8)
One in 10 hate crimes target American Indians (10/1)
DOJ: American Indians highest injured (6/25)
DOJ: Violent crime plagues Indian Country (3/19)