Posted at: 04/09/2013 11:31 AM
By: The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell is reviewing a hearing officer's ruling that Powell arbitrarily rejected a plan by the longtime operators of Dixon's Apple Orchard to transfer its lease of state trust land to San Felipe Pueblo.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Powell can accept or reject hearing officer James Hall's ruling issued Monday. However, Becky and Jim Mullane could challenge a rejection in court.
The Mullanes closed Dixon's after the orchard located in a canyon near Cochiti was devastated by fire and flooding in 2011.
The pueblo had agreed to pay $2.8 million to the Mullanes for their lease for the 627-acre orchard and an additional 8,600 acres of adjacent state trust land.
Powell has said the lease was a bad deal for taxpayers.
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