Okla.'s Sec. Of Native American Affairs Resigns Amid Compact Negotiations

Monday, December 23rd 2019, 3:34 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma's Secretary of Native American Affairs submitted her resignation Monday amid the state's compact negotiations with state tribal leaders, according to a resignation letter addressed to the governor.

Lisa Billy is a member of the Chickasaw and served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2004 to 2016. She became a part of Gov. Kevin Stitt's cabinet when she was made the state's first Secretary of Native American Affairs.

Billy offered her resignation in part because of the "unnecessary conflict that poses a real risk of lasting damage to the State-Tribal relationship and to our economy." 

Related: Governor Says He's Still Open To Gaming Negotiations After Okla. Tribal Leaders Reject Extension Plan 

Attorney General Mike Hunter backed out of negotiations earlier in December. 

“Under Article VI, Section 8 of the Oklahoma Constitution and 74.0.S. S1221, the governor is given authority to enter into agreements with the federally recognized tribes,” attorney general's office spokesman Alex Gerszewski said in a statement. “Accordingly, the attorney general and the governor have agreed to return the lead agency over tribal gaming compact negotiations to the Governor’s Office. This will allow the governor and his legal counsel to negotiate directly with tribes to hopefully develop a path forward.”

Read Billy's full resignation letter below: 

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