Monday, March 31, 2008

Pechanga Corruption: A Lie is as good as the Truth, if we can get the Interior Department to believe it

OP: Pechanga LIED when they told the Interior that they wanted 296 acres to maintain cultural significance to tribal life. There were very few tribal golfers back then, and fewer good ones.


Silver said tribes sometimes lose sight of that goal once a fee-to-trust transfer is approved. He cited the Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians' application to transfer of 296 acres into fee-to-trust in Temecula as an example:

According to its stated purpose at the time, the tribe wanted to maintain existing cultural resources and native vegetation of cultural significance to tribal life, Silver said. Pechanga asserted in its application that given the "vast occurrence of cultural resources found on the site, no development is proposed."

Based on that assurance, the Bureau of Indian affairs concluded in March 2001 that the proposed annexation would not harm the environment. By early 2007, however, the tribe was building a golf course on a portion of the land, Silver said.

"This golf course development was especially troubling given the parcel's location within...the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan," Silver said.
The majority of the 296.29 acres had been designated potentially sensitive habitat.
In response, Pechanga's General Counsel John Macarro, wrote, "Once the land is placed in trust, a tribe has complete zoning and planning authority over it and can change land uses just as a county or city can change or update its general plan or zoning designations."

Meaning: Just because we said we wanted to maintain cultural sites and don't propose development if you just give us the land free, doesn't mean we can't put a golf course there.

Pechanga: Show us the Money!

With new slots springing up, we Californians need to know WHEN do we get PAID? When are the checks that will eliminate our budget woes to arrive in Sacramento? I encourage all of you to write your congressperson and ask when we will see the $9 BILLION

The Pechanga Resort & Casino near Temecula previously operated the maximum number of machines -- 2,000 -- and additional video-bingo machines that were similar to slot machines.

The casino has 1,300 new slot machines in place and is converting about 500 video bingo machines to slot machines, said Amy Minniear, president of the Pechanga Development Corp.

Morongo and Pechanga have agreements allowing them to add 5,500 new machines, so they could add many more if they wish.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pechanga Closes UnSafe venues: Silk & Eagles Nest

Uncontrolled drinking is dangerous to patrons. If Pechanga doesn't respond to request for information, they obviously, they are hiding what the issue was.

"Alcohol related problems" Could mean anything. Were they:
1. Selling watered down drinks and were caught?
2. Selling alcohol that wasn't taxed?
3. Serving minors?
4. Serving drunks?
5. Overcharging for drinks?
6. Creating fight clubs for drunken patrons?

We the people should know what Pechanga allowed in their casino, and until we do learn the truth, we should not patronize a business like that. And it looks like the 3,000 people a night that Silk had, will go elsewhere already. That should reduce some traffic and make it safer for the citizens of Riverside county.


The Pechanga Resort & Casino has closed two nightclubs because of alcohol-related problems.

The Eagle's Nest and the Silk club, a popular attraction that featured go-go dancers, were shut down last week because of unspecified alcohol issues.
"Tribal leaders have determined that an unacceptable number of incidents involving alcohol consumption have occurred at Pechanga Resort & Casino," said Amy Minniear, president of the Pechanga Development Corp., in a statement. "We are deeply troubled by these incidents and are taking numerous and decisive actions to prevent them from occurring in the future."

Pechanga did not reply to requests for details on whether the incidents involved fights, underage drinking or other problems. The tribe also did not say what it will do with those rooms while the clubs are closed or how long they will be closed.

Appeals Court to Hear Cherokee Freedmen Case

Appeals court to hear Cherokee Freedmen case

The dispute over the legal status of the CherokeeFreedmen will be heard by a federal appeals court inMay amid efforts by Congress to resolve thecontroversy.The Freedmen are the descendants of former slaves.They say a treaty signed after the end of the CivilWar guarantees them citizenship in the Cherokee Nationof Oklahoma. Tribal leaders and members disagree.
In March 2007,Cherokee voters amended their constitution to deny citizenship to people who can't trace their ancestryto the Indian portion of the Dawes Rolls that werecreated by the federal government after the 1866treaty. A tribal court has reinstated about 2,800 Freedmen to citizenship pending a challenge to the referendum.
But that hasn't stopped litigation over the dispute and it hasn't stopped members of Congress from threatening tocut federal funding to the Cherokee Nation.The Bureau of Indian Affairs has said it will protect the rights of the Freedmen.
Assistant secretary Carl Artman told Cherokee Chief Chad Smith that the tribe agreed to enroll the Freedmen "in exchange for amnesty and the continuation of the government-to-governmentrelationship" in a May 2007 letter. But the Bush administration says the litigation filed by Marilyn Vann, a Freedmen leader, should end since one of the main issues in the case -- the status of the Cherokee constitution -- has been resolved.
In August, Artman approved changes to the tribe's constitution -- including a provision that eliminates future federal review of the document. The Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss Vann's case but Judge Henry H. Kennedy in Washington,D.C., declined in a short decision on February 7. Kennedy, however, agreed to stay proceedings pendingan appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On May 6, a three-judge panel of the appeals courtwill consider another big issue in the case -- whetherthe Freedmen can sue the Cherokee Nation. Kennedyruled that the tribe's sovereign immunity was waivedby the 1866 treaty and the Thirteenth Amendment to theU.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery.
The tribe is disputing the idea that it can be sued without its consent. Cherokee leaders say Kennedy'sdecision sets a bad precedent for Indian County,though only a small number -- most notably the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma -- signed treaties regarding their former slaves.
In addition to the lawsuit, the tribe is fighting legislation that could cut off its federal funds unless the Freedmen are permanently restored tocitizenship. Last September, the House added aprovision to the Native American Housing Assistanceand Self-Determination Act that would eliminate housing funds.
Chief Smith has appealed to other tribes in the U.S.and Canada -- and even to the United Nations -- top rotect what he says is the Cherokee Nation's inherentright to decide who is entitled to citizenship. Thetribe also has mounted an extensive lobbying andpublic relations campaign to protest the legislation."
The legislation would, in effect, either allowCongress to determine membership in the Cherokeenation or sever federal financial obligations to thenation, close Cherokee businesses, and legitimize unfounded lawsuits against the nation," Smith told theUnited Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rightslast month.According to the tribe, it will lose out on $300million in direct federal funding under the variouspieces of legislation.
Under one bill, the tribe willbe forced to close its gaming facilities, which are a significant source of revenue.The May 6 oral arguments will be heard by Judge DavidS. Tatel, a Clinton nominee, Judge Merrick B. Garland,a Clinton nominee, and Judge Thomas B. Griffith, aBush nominee.Tatel has heard a number of Indian law cases,including the Cobell trust fund case. Garland also has heard the Cobell case. Griffith is relatively new tothe court and used to work for the Senate as its legal counsel.

Pechanga, lacking ethics, is hiring a director


Director of Ethics Pechanga Resort & Casino US - CA -
Temecula Job Details

The Office of Ethics functions as an independent and objective body responsible for all ethical compliance issues, establishes procedures, monitors ethical compliance with the rules of the Tribe and is the originator and monitor of company ethics compliance policies and behavior to meet the companys Standards of Conduct. The Director of Ethics is the channel of communication to receive and direct ethics compliance issues to appropriate resources for investigation and resolution, including being an internal resource with which concerned internal or external parties may communicate concerns about possible illegal or unethical behavior within the company. This position is the principal channel of communications of confidential legal advice and communications between corporate counsel and the company. The Director of Ethics reports to the Pechanga Development Corporation Board of Directors and works closely with the Ethics Compliance Committee to monitor and report results of matters relating to ethical compliance.

Job Requirements: Must Possess: Professional demeanor and good attitude Ability to work under stressful and confidential situations Ability to draft operational policies and procedures Mentally strong and able to cope with many challenges Ability to work with and manage teams of leaders within the organization Ethical behavior in all areas of professional duties Qualifications: BS or BA in Business Administration or Human Relations. Ten (10) years of progressive experience in accounting and human resources, preferably in the Gaming industry or Ethics Compliance. Strong skill sets in collaborating with other organizational departments such as Legal, Risk Management, Internal Auditing, Internal Investigations, and other areas outside the organization Strong computer skills, especially in Microsoft Office Must possess excellent communication, organizational and analytical skills Culturally sensitive with effective communication skills, both verbal and written Ability to work unsupervised to meet deadlines and work longer hours when requested Ability to effectively work with confidential matters, including personnel files and information regarding ethical matters in all areas of the business Ability to obtain a Class A gaming license

The Pechanga Development Corporation and Pechanga Resort & Casino will at all times and for all positions give hiring transfers and promotional preferences to qualified applicants in the following order 1) Pechanga Band of Mission Indian Members 2) Pechanga Band Member Spouses 3) Other American Indians 4) All others
Management Position? Yes

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tribe Behind on Payments to State.

Arnold said he would get our fair share. What about when tribes don't PAY? How are we going to recover our money? How will be balance our budget if tribes don't PAY?


Santa Ysabel casino behind on payments
By: EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff WriterSmall casino's financial woes cited as reason for delay in remitting gaming fees Monday, March 3, 2008 11:09 PM PST

NORTH COUNTY -- The Santa Ysabel tribe is more than $400,000 behind on impact fees to the county for its casino near Julian and also owes an undisclosed amount in overdue payments to the state, officials said.Tribal and county officials began meeting last week to resolve the issue, said John Snyder, the county's director of public works. Snyder declined to disclose the specifics of the talks that started on Feb. 25."It was a first step in the discussion," he said.The tribe owes the money to pay for extra law enforcement, ambulance and problem gambling costs associated with its Santa Ysabel Resort and Casino.Under a 2005 agreement with the county, the 700-member tribe is supposed to pay the county a minimum of almost $600,000 a year.The tribe currently owes $203,000 for the cost of assigning one sheriff's deputy to the reservation, $150,000 for the problem gambling program, $50,000 for a criminal prosecutor, and $7,000 for emergency medical response, according to a letter the county sent to tribal chairman Johnny Hernandez.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We TOLD You So: Revenue Sharing in Doubt

I know we told you that the revenue sharing payments could go away. If they go to the general fund, they are subject to budgetary constraints.


New compacts clouding tribal payout picture
March 3, 2008

SACRAMENTO – Some powerful California Indian tribes dismissed it as what one leader referred to as a “blatant lie” – the warning that their new gambling agreements could jeopardize revenue-sharing payments to the state's poorest tribes.
But a jumble of conflicting provisions in tribal-state compacts, as well as state law, suggest the claim raised during the recent ballot fight over the deals is at least an open question.
What appears almost certain, critics say, is that the compacts will subject funding for the $1.1 million annual payments to poorer tribes to the perilous grind of the state budget process.
“We were not lying about his,” said Nelson Pinola, chairman of the Manchester-Point Arena band of Mendocino County. “This issue has so polarized tribes in California, between the haves and have-nots, that it's going to be hard to repair.”
Pinola, a retired Sonoma County sheriff's lieutenant and budget analyst, raised the point in television ads that opposed the new compacts for Sycuan of El Cajon, Pechanga of Temecula, Morongo of Banning and Agua Caliente of Palm Springs.

Read the rest at the link