The RedBluff Daily News has the story with claims and counter claims. It might be safer to STAY away from the ROLLING HILLS CASINO:
The ongoing dispute within the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians has seen allegations of embezzlement, thefts and falsifying of records, and most recently claims of data breaching and cyber attacks on Rolling Hills Casino.
The latter of which demonstrates the deep divide over two factions who claim to be the legitimate governing body of the tribe and the casino it owns and operates.
The casino said in an email Wednesday that it was the victim of an attack Friday on its computer systems.
"(The attack) attempted to destroy accounting data and disrupt casino operations. This attack was a failure," Tribal Council Chairman Andrew Freeman said in a released statement
"The casino remains operational and our guests will only notice minimal, temporary adjustments while this situation is addressed."
Freeman added that the attack was allegedly carried out by members of the tribe who were recently suspended.
The other side in the dispute, in an interview with the Daily News on Tuesday in Orland, said it had begun to remotely disrupt operations at the casino in an attempt and force a sit-down to resolve the issue.
Those three members — David Swearinger, Leslie Lohse and Geraldine Freeman — sat on the five-person Tribal Council when it held its annual General Council meeting April 12, but have since been banned from tribal property. Still, they say they are the duly elected Tribal Council.
APRIL 12 MEETING
The April 12 meeting was by all accounts was a raucous affair that had security and law enforcement on site.
At that meeting more than 70 members of the tribe were suspended when their genealogical roots to the tribe were questioned. Those members' roots trace back to one woman: Ida Louella Henthorn Pata. Her descendents included the Henthorn, Pata, Crosby and Lohse families.
Since then, accusations have flown and accounts differ from whether the tribe's constitution was followed and who remains in charge.
Members who have been ousted from the tribe and their positions on the Tribal Council said the actions taken at the April 12 meeting violates the tribe's constitution.
"We have a process of upholding meetings," David Swearinger said. "So, Andy (Freeman) got up before we did any agendas — and there was nothing on the agendas — but he made it his agenda to suspend, disenroll, remove, or order, the Henthorn, Pata, Crosby, Lohse families out."
David Swearinger, Geraldine Freeman, Allen Swearinger and Lohse, it was said, were not aware before the meeting that any suspensions were planned.
Another point, they said, was that while a roll call at the General Council meeting that comprises all adult members of the tribe who attend, was completed, no quorum of the General Council was established.
Lohse said "no action is taken at the annual meeting, it's always like a 'State of the State'" of the tribe, and a venue to report what happened over the last year.
Additionally, David Swearinger said, a motion to adjourn the Tribal Council was made because the situation didn't feel "right," or "safe." The motion was seconded by Geraldine Freeman and agreed to by a consensus of the Tribal Council.
CHAIRMAN ANDREW FREEMAN
Attorney Richard Verri, who says he represents the tribe led by Chairman Andrew Freeman, said David Swearinger and Geraldine Freeman vacated their positions when they left the April 12 meeting. He said Lohse, who was treasurer at the time of the meeting, was asked to leave as she was a member of the Pata family that was suspended.
New appointments were made at the meeting, Verri said, and the fifth member, member-at-large Allen Swearinger, who was said to not have vacated his position at the meeting, also was replaced at a subsequent General Council meeting May 10 called by Andrew Freeman and not attended by Allen Swearinger.
The legitimate Tribal Council, Verri said, comprises Chairman Andrew Freeman, Vice Chair Leticia Miller, treasurer Ambrosia Rico, secretary Andrew Alejandre, and member-at-large Natasha Magana.
Andrew Freeman and others claim that the decisions to suspend the families and replace Tribal Council members were reaffirmed by a General Council May 10 meeting in accordance to the tribe's constitution.
Armed guards have surrounded Rolling Hills Casino and other tribal properties throughout the dispute. Verri said the guards are there to protect the casino's patrons and operations from alleged threats to take over the casino.
Tribal Courts in both sides of the sides of the dispute have issued their respective restraining orders. And while the Andrew Freeman-led Tribal Council has attempted to keep suspended members away from tribal properties, David Swearinger, Geraldine Freeman, Allen Swearinger and Lohse have attempted to cease casino operations from the outside.
After revoking the casino's gaming facility license, Lohse said, "we have begun to shut down their ability to carry on transactions that are in our purview with the law," because there's illegal activity going on at the casino.
What this may look like to patrons at the casino is a delay in payouts from gaming machines, Lohse said, adding that the machines are still operable and working, and that the security of casino's customers has not been compromised. The payout delays could be about 10 minutes.
"For gamblers that's bad," Geraldine Freeman said. "You get these little old ladies there, they're going to get mad pretty soon, they're going to quit going over there if you gotta wait."
Lohse said at some point, the faction that is in control of the casino and other tribal properties will have to come to the table to resolve the tribal rift.
"Hopefully at some point they will understand that this tribal government wants to get back together and talk about how can we make this right," Lohse said. "Because there's some real issues."
Parker, the former sheriff and Red Bluff City Council member hired as the tribal police chief by David Swearinger, Geraldine Freeman, Allen Swearinger and Lohse, said those four want to shut down the casino to cut off the money flowing to the legal counsel representing the faction in control.
"You cut off the money, people will go away," he said, specifically referencing the group of attorneys representing Andrew Freeman's faction. "If that casino gets shut down, he no longer has access to that cash. And then the security will be gone, and he'll be gone. And I think that's the purpose of shutting this casino down."
Verri did not return a call Wednesday before deadline.
A call to the superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central California, which serves the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, did not return a call Wednesday before deadline. The BIA, in a previous letter to the tribe, said it does not get involved in internal tribal disputes.