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State liaison to Eastern Shoshone Tribe resigns

Jun 13, 2014 - From staff and wire reports

Sara Robinson, the Eastern Shoshone tribe's liaison to the Wyoming Legislature and governor's office, has resigned.

Robinson announced her resignation Monday at a meeting of the Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Tribal Affairs.

Robinson criticized Gov. Matt Mead, saying he didn't follow through on meetings he had promised her. She said she was treated discourteously.

Mead denied Robison had not been treated well. He said he and his office treated her fairly.

Tony Young, Mead's deputy chief of staff, says scheduling conflicts on both sides prevented any meetings between Mead and Robinson.

He cited miscommunications between state officials and tribal liaisons and said Robinson's resignation presents an opportunity to review the liaisons' roles.

Later in the week, some state officials said the liaisons simply were working as lobbyists for the tribes rather than their intended mediation roles for both state and tribal interests.

The liaison position was created as a quasi-cabinet position some years ago, but its state budget for the next biennium has been proposed for elimination amid criticism from lawmakers about the usefulness of the post and the performance of various people who have held the job. There has been high turnover in the positions.

Gary Collins is the liaison for the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

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