Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How The Pechanga Tribal Council Used Disenrollments To Sweep Corruption Under the Rug

Our cousin, 'Aamokat spoke out in the comment section about how Pechanga Tribal Council hides behind sovereignty to hide their corruption. 'Aamokat is a guest blogger for today. (repost from Jan. 2009)

What I have been saying is that the Pechanga tribe used disenrollment to sweep corruption under the rug.

Any doubts any reasonable people may have had about our credentials as tribal members should have been laid to rest by the documents we turned in.

Below are allegations made against members of the Enrollment Committee that were made by family members of the Hunter and Manuela Miranda families:

On Feburary 21, 2003 new members on the Enrollment Committee who had been elected in 2002, including Hunter and M. Miranda family members, sent a letter to the Tribal Council informing them of corruption on the Enrollment Committee. The letter detailed how members of the Enrollment Committee had acted to deny enrollment to lineal descendants of enrolled members.

These (committee) members would require DNA tests, delay meetings, and misinform parties before the Enrollment Committee.

A letter from February 25, 2003 provided the Tribal Council with more information about the corruption irregularities, which included:

1. A copy of the 1940 Census roll with 13 additional members handwritten onto the list. Of the 13 listed, 12 were born after 1940. All of the names belong to an Enrollment Committee member's family (from the CPP).note: This person was a former employee at the BIA

2. Adults enrolled 8 months prior to the 2000 election despite the moratorium.

3. Enrollment files for enrolled members that were missing. Some member's files were completely gone. Enrollment files and documents that were determined missing, through exhaustive search, reappeared a few days later.

4. Enrollment files for enrolled members that were unsealed. This violates the practice that files should be sealed once a member is enrolled and only opened if there is a reason to investigate.

5. Minutes from past Enrollment Committee meetings were stored in the back of an Enrollment Committee member's vehicle.

I was not a member of the committee and I did not make the above allegations and while I can't document that the offenses allegedly committed by the committee are true, It is documented that the tribal council was alerted to the allegations. So regardless if the allegations are true, which I believe they are, but even if the are not true, those Enrollment Committee members who had been accused should not have been allowed to rule on my family's (Hunters) and the M. Miranda's disenrollment cases. OP: According to the Supreme Court: "The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge's ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality and competence is impaired." Uh, ya think?

So, as I have said about a "thousand times" and I guess I will keep saying it until something is done about it, the tribal council and the Enrollment Committee violated Article V of the Band's constitution against malice or prejudice agaisnt individual tribal members when they disenrolled us.


OP: The answer is: YOU can, by making sure the public knows the underhanded ways that tribes like Pechanga, Redding, Robinson Rancheria, Enterprise, Picayune, San Pascual, in CA and the Snoqualmie Tribe in WA, just to name a few, use to get rid of longstanding members who disagree with them. DO NOT patronize their businesses and tell your friends. IF THEY WILL CHEAT THEIR OWN MEMBERS, don't you think they will CHEAT YOU?


Carolyn said...

Please add in this sentence "underhanded ways that tribes like Pechanga,"....

add the Snoqualmie Tribal council. We have a Federal court case - "Sweet vs Hinzman" that prove beyond a doubt that the Snoqualmie Tribal council are civil rights violators and we want the world to know this is not just a California tribes issue.


Anonymous said...

Also add that they shot at the head of Pechanga's 'Disenrollment' Committees's house (Bobby Lemere) because rumor had it that she was leaning toward favoring the members targeted for disenrollment. She then resigned.
And where in the world could a jury consist of family members of the accusers? Cuba? Venezuela? Iran?

'aamokat said...

Anonymous of May 5, 2010 10:56 said, "And where in the world could a jury consist of family members of the accusers? Cuba? Venezuela? Iran?"

And how about Nazi Germany?

In addition to the reasons posted in this article as to why certain members of the enrollment committee should not have been allowed to rule on our case, and allowing them to do so was violation of Article V of the Band's constitution and bylaws equal protection clause, is the fact that those same committee members were close relatives of people who submitted and/or signed statements against the tribal membership of the disenrollees.

Gentle Readers, I am still waiting for our anonymous tribal critic to come and show how we were afforded due process of law in our disenrollments.

He always says, "the non members were afforded simple due process of law."

So please come and answer my question this time and not just by some general statement.

I am still waiting.

I have another point to make on my next post.

'aamokat said...

Also, the enrollment committee members of the CPP faction of the tribe reportedly stalled the enrollment applications of people who ended up in the moratorium on new adult members whose applications were in before the deadline and this was also brought to the attention of the tribal council by new members of the committee who were elected in 2002 and among those new committee members were people from the Hunter and M. Miranda families.

Still those committee members who had allegations made against them were allowed to rule on our disenrollment causes.

Sounds like retaliation to me.

Anonymous said...

For those that were handwritten in after the fact they have committed idetity theft, which is a federal crime, as they knowingly used, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person (in this case tribe) with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity (fraud - benefit collection & violation of other's rights) that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, spelling correction...Identity Theft

Anonymous said...

Please know, Dear Reader, Pechanga removed the non-members in accord with a written disenrollment procedure that contained a simple due process. During this procedure, lasting several years, the non-members had ample time to bring forward the facts and information to support their claim to tribal membership. The non-members failed to do so. In turn, by its delegated authority, the enrollment committee terminated the enrollment of the non-members. Since then, the higher courts have agreed with the doctrine that tribes determine their own membership in their own forum. The non-members cannot accept the function this doctrine. Instead, the non-members verbablly attack tribal government, tribal leadership, and elderly tribal members. Let us understand the disappointment, anger, and hostility of the non-members caused by their legitimate removal from the Pechanga membership roll. This removal meant the loss of a big monthly check putting the non-members on easy street. As a result, the non-members had to return to their previous economic status, a painful transition for many. Perhaps one day soon the non-members will give up their bitterness, and then turn their face to the sunlight, to appreciate their daily lives as Americans.

O Pechanga said...

That one day will come when the rightful members are restored.

Our daily lives as Americans provides us with the time, energy and resources to continue the battle for our children.

In the meantime, Pechanga's unlawful actions, has cost them business and goodwill and soon, a political brushback that money won't paper over.

That time is coming. Already the cost to Pechanga is over $60 million and that is escalating.

Luiseno said...

"a simple due process"

A simple due process that was headed over by some of the very same people who had brought about the allegations against us.

" ample time to bring forward the facts and information to support their claim

Ample time, make that one time and one time only, with the statement made to us that NO other information would be accepted after our first turn in. Even though they added more (and I might add different from those first presented to us) that we were NOT allowed to address or refute.

This is FACT, not something we have made up, and is provable by letters sent to us by the enrollment commettee itself.

This was our " a written disenrollment procedure that contained a simple due process ?

Allen L. Lee said...

"Dear Reader Anonymous said...
... soon the non-members will give up their bitterness, and then turn their face to the sunlight, to appreciate their daily lives as Americans"

"...The Temecula Indians (Temeekuyam) lived at Temeekunga— the place of the sun."
If the non-members were to properly turn their faces toward the sunlight, they would turn them toward their indigenous nation first and foremost, and still appreciate their lives as Americans, as they and you are entitled to do.
I'll leave you with this to ponder:
Dis-enrollment and ex post facto law.
"...In 1875, the Temecula were forced off their land by neighboring ranchers backed by San Diego County sheriffs. Many of them drifted away to towns; others resettled in the nearby Pechanga valley, which the government eventually designated as the Pechanga reservation. Over the years most residents abandoned this inhospitable land, and the reservation began to be repopulated only after the community finally got electricity in 1970.
The tribe's constitution, passed in 1978, says that members must prove "descent from original Pechanga Temecula people." But in 1996 the tribal council tightened the rules, declaring for the first time that members had to have an ancestor from the subset of Temeculas who relocated to the Pechanga valley.
Gomez and his family point to minutes from the 1996 meeting indicating that the more stringent qualifications were not meant to be applied retroactively to established members such as themselves. "
"...An ex post facto law (from the Latin for "from after the action") or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law.
...Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution
...Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related treaties
Article 11, paragraph 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that no person be held guilty of any criminal law that did not exist at the time of offence
....African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
Article 2, paragraph 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights provides in part that "[n]o one may be condemned for an act or omission which did not constitute a legally punishable offense at the time it was committed.
...American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
Article 25 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man provides in part that "[n]o person may be deprived of his liberty except in the cases and according to the procedures established by pre-existing law."

Allen L. Lee said...

In addition, article I, section 10 prohibits the states from engaging in numerous activities, including coining money, passing ex post facto laws ..."

"...Because tribal governments are products of the inherent sovereign rights of Native people, and not a result of federal statute, tribal governments are free to apply traditional law when it does not conflict with federal law. Moreover, thanks in a large part to U.S. Supreme Court decisions, tribal jurisdiction and tribal law have been held to be applicable in cases involving non-Indians. Thus, for these reasons, one concludes that indeed, tribal custom is law in America...."

"In U.S. Constitutional Law, the definition of what is ex post facto is more limited. The first definition of what exactly constitutes an ex post facto law is found in Calder v Bull (3 US 386 [1798]), in the opinion of Justice Chase:

1st. Every law that makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action. 2d. Every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed. 3d. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed. 4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender..."

Anonymous said...

The record of decision in the Hunter case states because a common ancestor put his grandparents were from the San Luis Rey tribe in 1928; this somehow disqualified their membership at Pechanga.

The enrollment committee chose not to go with the findings of their own hired Anthropologist, and many certified, notarized depositions and statements of current Pechanga elders and elders who were alive in the 1800's when the Temecula Indians were evicted from Temecula, who affirmed Paulina Hunter as a Pechanga Indian.

Paulina Hunter lived in the Temecula village (Pauba Ranch) prior to the 1875 eviction.
Paulina Hunter was allotted 20 acres as head of household when Pechanga reservation was established 1882.
53 descendants of Paulina Hunter formally enrolled at Pechanga in 1978 under the Pechanga constitution and bylaws of the Pechanga Band.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed by congress in 1988, the same year the Pechanga band adopted the disenrollment procedures.
In 2006 the enrollment committee disenrolled 90 adult Members that descend from Paulina Hunter.
Record of decision said that San Luis Rey Indians are a separate band of Indians not Pechanga Indian.

Anonymous said...

How do we not qualify for membership, when we proved unbroken lineal descent from an original Temecula/Pechanga person from the 1800’s? 1978 Constitution and Bylaws of the Temecula Band of Luiseño Mission Indians (Pechanga) clearly list the criteria for Membership.

Allen L. Lee said...

Summation on my point; Even if a tribal/constitutional contradiction is accepted as a right of self government of pre-existing indigenous sovereigns, the U.S. can not maintain federal jurisdiction over tribes in any manner of law while contradicting it's own constitution. They can not endorse a set of laws contrary to it's own constitution while maintaining federal jurisdiction over those laws. If they choose not to interfere, they should remove federal jurisdiction.

'aamokat said...

Anonymous of May 6, 2010 5:34 PM said:

"Pechanga removed the non-members in accord with a written disenrollment procedure that contained a simple due process."

We have asked you many times how that supposed due process was carried out when close relatives of people who submitted statements against our membership were allowed to rule on our case both on the enrollment committee and on the tribal council, a violation of Article V of the Band's constitution and bylaws against malice or predjudice of individual tribal members.

And also how did we get due process when we were not told specfically why we were being disenrolled until after we were kicked out in 2006, a violation of the disenrollment procedures, which by the way were no longer a part of tribal law after the tribe outlawed disenrollment in 2005?

Gentle Readers, our opponents just make these general statements with the appearance of having the confidence that we, through the court of public opinion, can't do anything about what happened to us.

But if we truly can't do anything about the injustices that happened to us, it would not matter what we say on this blog or other sites would it?

'aamokat said...

Anonymous of May 6, 2010 5:34 PM said:

"During this procedure, lasting several years, the non-members had ample time to bring forward the facts and information to support their claim to tribal membership."

We the Hunters were informed the disenrollment process was initiated agaisnt us in May 2005.

We then met with the enrollment committee in June 2005 and we were given 30 days to turn in a list of certified documents which we complied with and we were not allowed to submit any more evidence after this deadline.

Enrollment files remain sealed for enrolled members so until we were informed we were under investigation for disenrollment there was no reason to submit anything to the committee as we were legally already tribal members for years.

So our critic's bogus argument that we had years to prove we belong doesn't hold water.

We only had two months to respond to the claims against our membership not years.

Plus, as I have stated in other threads, some of the same people who approved Hunter family members' membership who came in during open enrollment, turned around and voted us out while still on the enrollment committee or submitted statements against our tribal membership when we were disenrolled years later.

So we proved to their satisfaction that we are legitimate members when they enrolled us so what changed?

Can we say the casino?

'aamokat said...

Allen L. Lee said:

"Summation on my point; Even if a tribal/constitutional contradiction is accepted as a right of self government of pre-existing indigenous sovereigns, the U.S. can not maintain federal jurisdiction over tribes in any manner of law while contradicting it's own constitution. They can not endorse a set of laws contrary to it's own constitution while maintaining federal jurisdiction over those laws. If they choose not to interfere, they should remove federal jurisdiction."

So since these tribes get federal funding, then they, if they violate the U.S. contitution, should have those funds cut off.

But, as I have said many times, tribes such as Pechanga also violate their own tribal constitutions and while I know they can be isolated by the public and other tribes, I don't see at this point many people doing so but I guess we have to start somewhere.

'aamokat said...

One more point and I am out of here on this topic for now.

Isn't it absurd that on May 5 I asked for about at least the tenth time for our anonymous tribal hack to show how we were afforded due process and on May 6 he repeats the same general statement about "simple due process"?

That folks, along with the sovereignty dodge, is now the whole argument against our claims of being legitimate members of our tribe.

Anonymous said...

The reason the Hunters were notified by the enrollment committee was because they had a question of our lineage from the 1800's. Specifically when we arrived at the enrollment office they handed us a stack of paper and said they needed these documents to be certified and or notarized. Their question was Paulina link to Pechanga prior to 1882.

The document that cleared that question was a certified deposition from a tribal elder in 1915 that said Paulina was at the Paulba Ranch before the eviction.

The enrollment committee never asked what tribal affiliation Paulina had.

Finally after several months the enrollment committee released its record of decision and said since Paulina’s grandson had put on his 1928 California application the San Luis Rey Tribe that this somehow made Paulina a non-Pechanga.

This makes no since, since Pechanga is made up of Mission Indians. Hence Temecula Band of Luiseño Mission Indians.

That’s all it is in its simplicity.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, how can someones grandson's Tribal affilation change his grandmothers? My father was born in Yugoslavia, does this meen that my grandmother ony mothers side was never a US citizen?

Anonymous said...

I agree, it someone's grandson put down on the application that he was Chinese (maybe because his father was), how does this effect his grandmother? Totally bogus reason to disenroll!

'aamokat said...

The thing is, if you look at some of the census records of the late 1800's, the first ones of the reservation, it is called by various names; Temecula, Temecula-San Luis Rey Tribe, or Pechanga depending on what year the census was taken.

So does that mean anyone who has ancestors on the list that says Temecula-San Luis Rey should be disenrolled?

That would mean the whole tribe should be kicked out!

Clearly the names were historically interchangable and the San Luis Rey referrence does not change our legitimate claim of being true tribal members.