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Cayuga Nation announces criminal court system, names two judges

First came a police department.

Now, the Cayuga Nation will have its own criminal court system.

Clint Halftown, the Cayugas’ federally recognized leader, announced Monday that former Onondaga County Court Judge Joseph Fahey will serve as the Nation’s trial court judge and former Wayne County Court Judge Dennis Kehoe has been named as appellate court judge.

Halftown said the Nation will be appointing additional officials to its court system in the near future.

“Judges Fahey and Kehoe have substantial experience in criminal matters and bring those many years of experience as well as excellent reputations for integrity to our Nation’s court system,” Halftown said in a press release. “As with the establishment of our police force, the Nation is taking responsibility to maintain law and order among our citizens.”

Halftown said the court system will be involved in the prosecution of offenders on Nation properties in Seneca and Cayuga counties — “within the Nation’s historic reservation.”

Earlier this summer, the Nation announced the appointment of several retired state troopers and other police officers to its inaugural police force, a law enforcement branch headed by former state police Capt. Mark Lincoln.

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