Tuesday, April 12, 2011

City of Temecula Lawsuit Against Pechanga Dismissed.

U.S. District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer ruled in favor of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and dismissed the lawsuit brought by the City of Temecula. The city’s lawsuit, filed October 1, 2010, accused the Pechanga Tribe of violating its 2006 Tribal-State Compact and sought to compel the Tribe to pay millions of dollars for purported off-reservation impacts, even though the Tribe had not commenced any new gaming projects since 2004. That project was built with full environmental review and input from the City and County. Since then, the Tribe has voluntarily contributed millions of dollars to City projects including improvements to surrounding roads and infrastructure.

“Given our longstanding record of supporting the community, today’s decision vindicates our view that the city council’s lawsuit was baseless, absurd, and a waste of money,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. OP: Macarro knows waste a this was similar to Pechanga's waste of tribal funds when they paid $50 MILLION more than the other 3 tribes did to promote their expanding gaming initiative.

“As we said from the onset, our Tribe was under no obligation to reach an agreement with the City of Temecula since no physical changes were made to our casino that required environmental studies and an intergovernmental agreement,” said Macarro.   
“Nevertheless, we offered, as early as 2007, to negotiate and enter into a provisional intergovernmental agreement to help provide both of our communities with certainty and stability with regard to possible future expansions, and to promote collaboration.”   OP:   Is that leadership, negotiating when there is no need, or did Macarro think there WAS a need.
 
After months of negotiation, the Temecula City Council voted to approve the agreement on March 9, 2010 on the condition that an intergovernmental agreement be reached with the County. The purpose of the condition was to ensure certainty with both the city and county in the event of future development. A central provision of the deal required the intergovernmental agreements between Pechanga, the city and the County of Riverside to be interdependent. A primary reason for this interdependence is that the County of Riverside - not the City of Temecula - provides law enforcement services to the reservation, yet under the provisional agreement Temecula would have received all of the funding for law enforcement. The Tribe also wanted to be certain that all requests had been contemplated and that the County would not seek additional funds.

“From Day 1 of the negotiations with the city, we made clear that the intergovernmental agreements were to be interdependent."

"We thought city representatives recognized this fundamental principle; otherwise, they would not have approved a clause explicitly requiring the county component also be completed before the agreement took effect.”

“We were prepared to go above and beyond the letter and spirit of the Compact by offering to negotiate and reach an agreement long before we were required to do so,” said Macarro.

“We thought our offer to reach an agreement, that would have provided millions for the city, was consistent with our historic willingness to voluntarily provide funding for critical city projects."

Since 2002, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians has provided more than $25 million to the City of Temecula and County of Riverside for road improvements, law enforcement, fire services, and responsible gaming.
The Tribe has also donated more than $15 million to local schools and hundreds of regional non-profit groups working to build a stronger community.  

OP:   This PALES in comparison to the nearly $400 MILLION they have stolen from rightful members of the tribe.

“Had the city council allowed us and the County to continue our talks, we might have finalized the agreement,” he said.

“Instead, the city council brought the very worst action possible against our Tribe.”

Temecula’s lawsuit accused the Tribe of acting in “violation of its obligations under the 2006 Amended Compact,” which could have jeopardized the Pechanga Band’s Tribal-State Compact.

“Make no mistake, by accusing us of violating our Compact, this lawsuit was a direct assault on the economic engine that pulled our people out of poverty and provides thousands of community members with jobs and business opportunities,” said Chairman Macarro.

“Because of the Temecula City Council’s action, little to no desire exists to hand over millions of dollars to a city council that would seek to cause our Tribe, our employees, our business partners, and the charitable causes which we support such harm.”

OP:  WAR!   Now Temecula should NO longer attend any function at Pechanga, give no honors to a tribe that has decimated its people, MANY who are Temecula citizens.  
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