ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—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 ( http://bit.ly/16MPdcX), 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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