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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Leland Yee (D) Friend to Tribal Casinos in CA, INDICTED on CORRUPTION CHARGES

State Senator Leland Yee, and recent speaker at the IGAMING symposium, has been indicted for public corruption as part of a major FBI operation this morning in the Bay Area, according to ABC7 news.  

If the allegations prove true, Yee would be the state's third Democratic legislator tied to corruption allegations this year. In February, State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, surrendered to authorities after being indicted on bribery charges. In January, Assemblyman Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, also an internet gaming supporter, was convicted of voter fraud and perjury stemming from a 2010 indictment.

In 2011 questions surfaced whether Yee had broken laws:

State Sen. Leland Yee has been a friend to the casino industry during his time in Sacramento, and that friendliness may have paid off during a June fundraiser for his bid for San Francisco mayor at a Colma casino.
Campaign donors paid $125 per plate for meals at Lucky Chances Casino in Colma -- but the campaign was charged less than market value for the food served up to contributors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
For example, the campaign was charged only $20 per person for 75 surf-and-turf dinners, whereas the dinner buffet -- which does not include lobster served to campaign contributors -- normally costs $30.88, according to the newspaper.
Yee also received money from tribes that violated civil rights of their people in 2010:


Anonymous said...

Any more of ROCHA's speakers gonna get arrested??

Anonymous said...

I bet Howard Dickstien is tied to this case as well. Because i remember about a year or so ago, an artical, i believe it was the Sac.Bee, there was a picture of yee,Dickstien,Alan Opper,and Fienstiens husband.It was taken at a fundraiser in Sacramento.I will see if i can find it.

Anonymous said...

This charges against Leland Yee stem from illegal campaign contributions, gun running and his association with a Chinese gangster named Raymond Chow. He accepted illegal contributions from FBI agents as part of larger sting that nabbed 26 offenders.

The good news is that there will be one less friend to the corrupt tribal leaders in state legislature, but this is not much of a blow against the policy of disenrollment.

Anonymous said...

It might not be a blow against disenrollment but it makes me wonder about people like Darrel Issa , Rudy Ruiz , Duncan Hunter and Barbra Boxer. when asked about illegal disenrollment they say we respect sovereignty but if asked about North Korea or events that are happing in Crimea it seems they don't respect their sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

Those named weren't caught in the sting. The scope of tribal sovereignty has been expanded through court decisions and the hands off policy of the BIA. At some point a federal judge is going to reiterate what has long been known. Tribal sovereignty is limited. It is constrained by the trust status of tribal lands, by the rights of citizens, and by the laws of federal, state, and local governments.

Those now in office who claim to respect sovereignty actually respect the financial contributions of tribes. They actually do not care at all about Indians and have proved it on numerous occasions. Since it is tribal leaders that make contributions, politicians make homage to leaders and spurn tribal members. The BIA does the same.

The courts however are beginning to take a dim view of the growing tide of legal actions that arise from disenrollments. There is change in the air.

Anonymous said...

I sure you are right 8:52 because there is nothing that i would enjoy more than to see Robert Smith, Theresa Nieto,Dion Perez & the others,placed under arrest and led away in handcuffs. From what i understand, there is no bail if you are arrested and put in Federal jail. You just have to sit there and wait for the Court to decide your fate.

Anonymous said...

Are there any California tribes that have any current tribal councils that are NOT corrupt and profiting at the expense of their members ??? I am really serious and would like to know because I am Native and am TRIBE SHOPPING. Looking for a Calif. tribe that I can join.

Anonymous said...

Tribe shopping is that a joke? You need to have a certain amount of blood and be of direct lineal descent to be enrolled in almost any tribe. Especially now it's even harder now that tribal leaders have made tribes special clubs of sort where it's who you know or are related to which can or cannot gain you membership. In some cases like at Pala in San Diego you can have no native blood but can be adopted into the tribe by their chairman Robert Smith, yet only if it benefits him. (A favor for a favor of sorts)

Anonymous said...

In other words, in Pala, its not who you know, its who you blow.

Anonymous said...

True justice would be if the Feds could tie Feinsteins husband with his slimy fingers in this.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the only thing that is going down as far as Pala, is the per capita to Tribal Members.
If business is so slow, where is all the money coming from to do all those loans, and all the donations that Smith gives out to the outsiders. And how about Dickstiens cut, has it gone down.And the price we pay for the all the jets that we are contracted for.Im telling you, the EC is full of shit and they have 90% of the Members fooled.Try
to get an audit done and watch how fast the EC shuts it down.Why are there so damn many security vehicles, all brand new.We need to put a stop to all the perks that the EC has and give that money to the Tribal Members.They never even took a vote to cut the per capita this last time, which is in the compact. Everyone just believes what Smith & Nieto say.
Just like at the last meeting when smith broke the tie on the funding of the pow wow and voted yes as to the motion, which would mean NO_FUNDING THE POW WOW,but its back on the agenda again for the next meeting.I thought that when a motion was made and voted on,that you could not bring it up again for a year. Stand firm, and don't give in to the EC on this subject.

Anonymous said...

You can pick and choose what you want to confront the Pala EC on. In the end they are taking as much money as they can, and when they want more they cut the per-capita. I bet Nieto says that the amount of per-capita paid out is $13M a month again. It never changes no matter how much or how little tribal members receive. That's because they think Pala members are too stupid to notice or too scared to challenge them.

The 90% of people who believe what Smith and Nieto say need to be educated. It is their money that is being stolen. Disenrollment was supposed to mean more money for tribal members. Instead it has gone down. The explanation is that business is bad at the casino, but no one knows the truth because the financial reports are phony.

What we do know is that the budget contains miscellaneous money that is always spent; there is never any left over. New tribal vehicles are purchased, and the old ones are sold, but the tribe never receives the money for the sold used vehicles. The Pala Jets are flown on personal pleasure trips and the tribe foots the bill. The tribe pays the personal legal fees for the Pala EC. Outside investment money is always reported lost. The tribe invested $20M to purchase Warner Hot Springs Resort but the money was never returned to the tribe after the deal feel through.

The list of misappropriation of funds, theft, and conversion goes on and on. The corrupt and criminal Chairman even fixed the drawing at the Casino so he could win a motorcycle. The elections are rigged, General Council meeting agendas never present important decisions to the tribe, there is complete secrecy about the tribes donations, contributions, and lobbying costs, and the Executive Committee votes raises for themselves along with large bonuses while they drag the tribe into financial disaster.

I wonder why Pala people continue to put up with this Executive Committee. I read talk about giving them a beating, but that won't fix things. What will fix the problems is removing them from office for financial mismanagement, failure to uphold the Pala Constitution, failure to disclose the financial state of the tribe, ethical misconduct, termination of membership of rightful tribal members, theft of per-capita distribution funds, misappropriation of operating budget funds for personal use, conversion of investment funds and assets to personal use, unauthorized personal use of the Pala jets, disrespect of tribal elders, disregard of custom and tradition, and general bullying and threatening of tribal members.

Once they are out of office then real Pala people can start cleaning up the mess of what was once a respected tribe. An external audit of the financial records must be performed, especially a review of bank transactions to see where the money has gone. This will establish the evidence necessary to bring the criminals of the EC to trial. A limited waiver of sovereign immunity must be obtained to press charges and arrest the EC for their crimes. Their assets must be frozen and liquidated to repay the tribe for the stolen money. Those who were enrolled by the Pala EC without proper documentation must be suspended and they must reapply. The disenrollees must be reinstated. The Pala Constitution must be amended to prevent the kind of abuses that have occurred under Robert Smith.

There is a lot of work to do, but it won't get done by crying that anyone who challenges Robert Smith has their per-capita taken away. He depends on this threat to stay in power. If there are enough people who want a real tribe instead of a bunch of Smith Puppets it will happen.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:20 PM
All you said in you post is true and to the point.The question is,how do we get the Members of the Pala Band to understand, and take the action needed to get rid of the trash heap that is stinking up the Admin.Building.And that is contaminating the entire Reservation.

Anonymous said...

You know the casino has to do a monthly financial report and a yearly audit by federal law. Now if these reports are not being reviewed at tribal meetings then the people from Pala only have them self to blame.

Anonymous said...

Also, i just heard that the Raceway is being sold again.I haven't missed a Tribal Meeting in 10 years, so i know that the General Membership is not aware of this latest scam.

Anonymous said...

I think the information is going to have to be spread by individuals to other tribal members. Perhaps a small bundle of documents with highlights of the problems and the accumulated evidence of wrongdoing can be prepared and distributed at ballgames, outside church services, at the Pala store, or wherever members meet.

Robert Smith has long depended on members living off rez for support, because they don't see the corruption and criminal activity. But those living off rez also do not attend General Council meetings so their input can't be heard when actions are taken at General Council meetings.

Maybe a General Council meeting needs to be called without the presence of the Pala EC. Then there can be a discussion of the real issues and a motion and vote for removal of the tribal officers can be conducted. The Pala Constitution has provision for removal of tribal officers, and if this provision is cited, and the law is observed, then the meeting is legal.

I urge anyone who thinks this is the right course of action to begin gathering support. The requirement is a quorum of 25 members and a majority vote to get a motion passed. It would help to have a larger consensus than 25. The more the better.

Keep in mind that plans must also be made for transition of power. I suggest that a committee of elders be appointed to run tribal affairs until a new EC can be elected. That way business can be conducted and there will be a smooth transition.

I bet there are lots of tribal members who are anxious to see the end of the Robert Smith reign. Make sure that any information that is distributed highlights the positive impact for tribal members once Robert Smith is no longer in power. He is destroying the tribe, and doesn't care anymore because he has stolen so much money it doesn't make any difference to him what happens to Pala.

Anonymous said...

I guess smith is going try to change/add some amendents to ordinance #21,child welfare ord.
Beware of any changes that the EC wants make to any and all Tribal Ordinances.Thats how they sneak things in to get passed. Just vote

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to obtain the monthly financial reports, and a copy of the yearly audit that has been done at the casino.
Being a Tribal Member,can i request a copy from someone other than the EC.