An Open Letter to the Pala General Council
According to reports from those who attended, the matter of lawsuits filed against the tribe was on the agenda of the General Council meeting on April 10,2013. The disenrollees want you to know that none of the lawsuits name the tribe as a defendant. We know that the Pala Executive Committee is responsible for disenrolling us, and that is why we are suing them and not the tribe.
These lawsuits were filed in order to present evidence in federal court that the disenrollments were illegal, and that the Executive Committee exceeded their authority. The BIA and the Department of the Interior are the defendants in the Thor Emblem case (Aguayo vs. Salazar). The members of the Pala Executive Committee are the defendants in the Elizabeth Lin case (Allen vs. Robert Smith). The lawsuits are a matter of public record, and anyone who wants to see who the defendants are in these cases can look it up on the Internet at: http://dockets.justia.com. The case against the BIA can be searched under “Aguayo vs. Salazar”, and the case against the Pala Executive Committee can be searched under “Allen vs. Robert Smith.”
Since the tribe is not named in any of the legal actions, the tribe is not required to pay the legal expenses. The reason why the tribe is paying the legal fees of the Executive Committee members is because Robert Smith and the Executive Committee decided to use the tribe’s money instead of their own money. This decision was made without consulting the General Council. It is a routine practice for the Executive Committee to act without notifying the General Council when they use tribal funds for their personal business. If politicians do this in city, county, state, or federal governments, it is called misappropriation of funds and is considered illegal and unethical. In Pala it is business as usual.
Keep in mind that there would be no legal expenses and no lawsuits if we hadn’t been illegally disenrolled. Robert Smith wants to blame us for the problems he created, but he is trying to deceive the General Council. He lied about Margarita Brittain’s blood degree. He lied about the disenrollees failing to file their appeals on time. He lied about the evidence he supposedly has. Now he lies about the lawsuits. At least he is consistent.
Per-capita was supposed to go up because of disenrollment, but instead it’s used to pay for legal fees, personal bodyguards, hi-tech security, a hideout at the Pala Casino Hotel, a book of lies to pass out to tribal members, and all the other costs of keeping legitimate members out of the tribe. Your Chairman and his lackeys will never admit that it is their fault that they are involved in lawsuits. They won’t tell you that the price tag will keep going up, and that more and more tribal money will be spent to keep out people who can prove they belong. Instead they will cut per-capita or disenroll more members to raise money to cover the ever-growing costs. Just to be clear, the lawsuits could be settled simply and easily by reinstating the disenrollees. Then the legal expenses would no longer be a drain on the tribe, and there would be no more arguments about disenrollment.
There is a rumor that the Casino business has been poor the last three months and that per-capita may be reduced. This points to a serious problem at Pala with the management of Casino revenue. Robert Smith can blame the disenrollees all he wants, but he is the one who controls the finances. If there are money problems the General Council should be asking Robert Smith and Theresa Nieto hard questions about how much money there is and how it is being spent. Ignore the lies about the costs of disenrollment, and get the details about the finances.
In the meantime we hope that you will see that we are honest and sincere. We don’t have to lie because we have done nothing wrong. We belong and we can prove it. Perhaps instead of listening to more lies from Robert Smith, the General Council will allow us to present our proof and see how the Pala Executive Committee has deceived them. Until then we will continue to fight it out in court.
OP: We are proud to stand with the Pala people, all of them, including those who have been harmed by the actions of Robert Smith and the Executive Committee. Be sure to take a look at http://palawatch.com