Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us

Monday, January 19, 2015

Your tax dollars at work

Larisa check clears the bank
By Will Collette

This is what it cost Charlestown taxpayers (in money) over the last six months of 2014 to continue to wage an endless war against the Narragansett Indian Tribe.

Attorney Joe Larisa is retained by the town for no other purpose than to watch the Tribe and to fight any effort the Tribe undertakes to advance itself.

In recent weeks, Larisa has been in Superior Court, arguing on behalf of Charlestown that the Tribe's police do not have jurisdiction on their own land. Despite federal recognition of the Narragansett Indian Tribe, Charlestown does not recognize the tribe as anything other than a neighborhood.

The case involves the arrest of two Narragansett young men on the suspicion that they were riding a dirt bike and carrying a rifle. No rifle was found. The men were arrested on tribal land.

The Tribe is arguing the Charlestown Police overstepped their jurisdiction by coming onto tribal land to make that arrest without the consent of the Tribe. Larisa is arguing the Tribe has no right to assert such a claim.

After centuries of conflict, it is a disgrace that we still have spectacles like this. And we have to pay for it. It cost us almost $15,000 in the past six months, but it cost us a whole lot more in self-respect.