Rodney Lewis appointed as Member, Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors

March 20, 2017: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, announced the appointment of longtime water rights lawyer and Gila River Indian Community member Rodney B. Lewis to the fifteen-Member Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors. Lewis, who was the first member of an Arizona Indian Tribe to gain admission to the Arizona State Bar, fills and open Maricopa County seat created by the resignation of Guy Carpenter. Lewis’ term ends in 2018. After he graduated from the UCLA Law School, Lewis worked as the General Counsel for the Gila River Indian Community, starting in 1978. Since the mid-1980s, Lewis has led the Community’s negotiations with the federal government, the state of Arizona, and more than thirty non-Indian parties for settlement of the Community’s water rights and claims. As a result of these negotiations, the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 was signed into law by former President George W. Bush on Dec. 10, 2004. In 1980, Lewis became the first member of an Indian Tribe to win a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully arguing Central Machinery v. Arizona State Tax Commission. In 2010, Lewis was honored by the Crow Tribe of Montana for his contributions and dedication leading to the Crow Nation Water Settlement of 2010. Lewis also worked as a principal representing the Pechanga Tribe of California. The Pechanga Water Settlement was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama enacted into law in 2016.


Attribution: Governor's Office



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