Wednesday, December 2, 2009

OPB's Native American HALL OF SHAME: Macarro of Pechanga an Inductee, Picayune, Enterprise and Redding Represented

Original Pechanga's Blog has begun it's Native American HALL OF SHAME, with spots earned for the despicable way they've treated their tribal members, in many cases forcing them back to poverty and to put them back on the state. Here are some of our first inductees, which could be the California branch of the HOS.

Mark Macarro Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians

Chairman of the Temecula Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, AKA the Pechanga Band, is a civil rights violator who has presided over a modern day genocide of Native Americans by allowing, without due process of law, the disenrollment of hundreds of long time fellow tribal members in good standing and if the children of these families are included that number approaches the 500 mark.

Chairman Macarro also has turned a blind eye to the fact that hundreds of legitimate tribal members have been kept out of the tribe due to an unconstitutional moratorium (according to the Band's own constitution and bylaws) on new adult members that has been in place for going on thirteen years. Ostensibly, the moratorium was to give the enrollment committee time to “catch up”, yet over a decade later, they still haven’t achieved that goal.

In addition, despite the fact that he personally promised the United States Congressional Resources Committee on April 17, 2002, which is backed up by the tribe's land to trust application with the United States Department of Interior, that no changes whatsoever would be made to a piece of land known as the Great Oak Ranch if the land was put into trust and made part of the Pechanga reservation.

But once the Great Oak Ranch property was made part of the reservation the tribe tore up a large portion of it and they put "The Journey At Pechanga" golf course on the land.

Here are excerpts from the United States Congressional Record of Chairman Macarro's testimony:

Mr. Hayworth. "Thank you, Mr. Avery.Chairman Macarro, does the Pechanga Tribe have any plans for development of any kind on the Great Oak Ranch property?"Mr. Macarro. "No, we don't. As stated in our application to Interior/BIA, we stated or have designated there is no change of use in the property, and the intended use and purpose is to preserve and protect the resources that are there."

Mr. Hayworth. "Without objection, we would welcome that. Just one follow-up, and for purposes of the record, Mr. Chairman, does the tribe plan to use the Great Oak Ranch for gaming purposes or any purposes other than what you have just outlined?"

Mr. Macarro. "No, the tribe does not."

Chairman Mark Macarro, a man who hobnobs with presidents and other high profile politicians and who was the charismatic spokesman for Indian gaming during the campaigns to bring legalized gaming to California reservations, has a dark side that the politicians and the general public don't want to see.

Glenda Nelson Enterprise Rancheria

Currently Chairwoman of the Enterprise Rancheria tribe, Glenda was at the forefront of the disenrollment of 72 of her fellow tribal members. Those same 72, subsequently disenrolled members, had signed a recall petition against Nelson and four other members of the Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Council who were guilty of taking multiple cash distributions from the tribe's Human Services Fund for the needy. Ironically, Glenda Nelson was the tribe's Treasurer in September 2003 when this occurred. She successfully suspended the 72 members, pending disenrollment, in a manner timely to prevent those members from voting in the recall election scheduled to be held seven days later.

Morris Reid Picayune Rancheria Tribal Chairperson

During the 2003 to 2006 run up to disenrollments, he claimed to be wholly against any disenrollments. He even went so far as to pay for two petition mailings from his own pocket.

But, by mid-2006, he was singing a different tune. He started talking about ‘sovereignty’ and nodding his head at meetings when the crowd would start shouting to kick ‘those people’ out who didn’t belong in the Tribe.

When the first disenrollment “kangaroo hearings” were started, Morris voted with the rest of the Council to unanimously remove the first members-the family of Mary Chapman.

After their hearing, Morris told me that anyone who gets a notice to appear at one of the “fair and impartial” events was already going to be disenrolled. The Council was only giving the hearings so that they could claim to have given everyone due process on paper, even though they never had any intentions of reversing any Enrollment Committee findings to remove someone from the Tribe.

Dixie Jackson Picayune Tribal Chair in 2003

In conversation with Bryan Galt, Enrollment Committee Chairperson; “We need to have a thorough audit of the member records so that we can determine who may not be properly enrolled so that we can make a decision on them.” I objected to the idea of making what I considered to be a “redetermination” since the members in question had been legally enrolled by Tribal Council vote years before that day.

I was told to make a list anyway using a checklist developed for new applicants (meaning for those applicants who were waiting since 2003). She and the Council decided it was such a thorough method of determining eligibility that it should be applied retroactively-regardless of the fact that no one in the Tribe had enrolled under the criteria on the checklist.

My committee wrote an opinion that stated this action was not legal under the Constitution or the enrollment ordinance because current members were protected under ex post facto. The Tribe’s lawyer, Marc McMahon told us (the committee) that ex post facto only applied in criminal cases, but that it didn’t matter because the Council had the final say as to what laws apply and which ones don’t.

The Committee didn’t finish the directive and no one was disenrolled during the 2003-2005 term for record keeping errors. That was the job of the newly appointed henchmen and they did their best to remove as many people as possible from 2006 to 2008 (estimated at 45%).

Tracey Avila Robinson Rancheria

Tracey led the tribe to terminate 75 tribal members, just prior to a January 2009 election to determine tribal leadership.

A June 14 election was decertified, and the tribe's election committee – dominated by Avila's family – has ruled that her challenger for the seat, EJ Crandell – who won the June election – has been disqualified from running.

There would also be a loss of education opportunities and funding, as well as Indian health services,which are critical due to the high number of tribal members suffering from diabetes and chronic diseases, particularly elders.

Those who hold jobs with the tribe also could be fired. She said some of the members in question already have been put on administrative leave from their jobs. A “no gossip” memo also was reportedly issued by Avila to staff, warning that discussion about the disenrollments would result in termination.


The Truth said...

Nice piece, easy read for the gentle readers.

cideways said...

Please open your eyes to tribal corruption.
This is not the Indian way.

Anonymous said...

Why would people still go to a business that the Picayune Rancheria operates?
They have a terrible record of abuse of their own members.

Anonymous said...

So does Pechanga and look at the people that go there...what they did with the land and the golf course should be enough to take away the Casino and add in the thinning out of the tribr for monetary reasons ONLY,,,well what is our government waiting for??Its terrorism in our own land..imo

Anonymous said...

adding new friends they shut down my last site!

Cin An said...

How about Glenn Marshall? Mashpee Wampanoag council chair... Serving time for fraud, tax evasion, political corruption, etc...