Cayuga Nation offers settlement in tobacco case

The Cayuga Nation offered to pay legal bills and drop claims to millions of dollars in damages in order to settle a tobacco taxation dispute with two counties in New York.

The tribe won a court case that secured its right to offer tax-free cigarettes at its smoke shops. The settlement would end the lawsuit -- if officials in Cayuga and Seneca counties agree.

"The Cayuga nation believes that it will prevail if this matter is appealed and that if not settled the citizens of Cayuga and Seneca counties will be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and millions of dollars in damages. That's unfair to the residents of the counties," attorney Daniel French told The Syracuse Post-Standard.

County officials will meet next Tuesday to discuss an appeal. The counties have over $180,000 in legal bills and could be liable for the tribe's losses at the smoke shops, which were shut down last November.

Get the Story:
Cayuga Indian Nation makes pitch to settle cigarette sales dispute (The Syracuse Post-Standard 7/14)
Cayugas offer to pay counties' legal tab (The Auburn Citizen 7/14)

New York Appellate Division Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. Gould (July 10, 2009)

New York Supreme Court Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. Gould (December 9, 2008)

Related Stories:
Cayuga Nation wins tobacco taxation decision (7/13)
Battle over Cayuga Nation tobacco continues (3/6)
Cayuga Nation halts sale of tax-free cigarettes (2/20)
Judge rules against Cayuga Nation tobacco sales (2/19)
Cayuga Nation to reopen disputed smoke shops (01/30)
Court halts Cayuga Nation tobacco prosecution (01/22)
Cayuga Nation seeks halt to tobacco prosecution (1/13)
Cayuga Nation plans to fight tobacco tax charges (12/10)
Cayuga Nation in court over raid of smokeshops (12/4)
Cayuga Nation claims 'reservation' exemption (12/2)
Cayuga Nation heads to court after smokeshop raid (12/1)
County authorities raid Cayuga Nation smoke shops (11/26)