Endorsement vs. Enforcement

At the September 21, 2013 General Tribal Council Meeting, Tribal Secretary Patty Hoeft read a letter by Tribal Chairperson Ed Delgado regarding the Menominee Tribe’s pursuit of establishing an off-reservation casino in Kenosha, WI, and the GTC was asked to contact the BC regarding their opinions about support for the project.

On the agenda for the Wednesday September 25, 2013 Business Committee Regular Meeting is the following:

VI. Resolutions
Support of Menominee Indian Tribe’s Off-Reservation Gaming Project
Sponsor: Tina Danforth

What hasn’t been stated is just how many machines the Oneida Tribe’s Casino would be willing to give up for the Menominee project in order to meet Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s criteria of no net increase to gaming in the State.

The Menominee Tribe would likely require more slot machines in Kenosha than they currently have in their casino in Keshena, so how many slot machines would Oneida Tribal officials be willing to ‘donate’?

Further, how would shuttering the Menominee Casino in Keshena affect Tribe members who can’t afford to move to Kenosha to keep their jobs? Would the increase in per capita actually be equivalent to the salaries Tribal casino employees make now? If that would be the case for all Menominee Tribe members, how can it be argued that the new venue’s revenue wouldn’t be coming at the expense of other tribes? What would become of the Menominee reservation if everyone moves to Kenosha?

Then there’s the matter of the corruption associated with the Kenosha casino proposal, both external and internal to the Menominee Tribe.

Oneida Eye editors have first-hand experience dealing with the corrupt ways Menominee Tribal leadership treat productive employees, from lies by supervisors about being directed to render discipline at the behest of the Tribal Chairperson, to a Program Attorney caught on tape trying to defend her verbal threats to “take care of you myself,” to attorneys given quid pro quo appointments to the Prosecutor’s Office and Tribal Supreme Court following their role in perpetrating injustice, to an Asst. Prosecuting Attorney repeatedly perjuring herself under questioning by an Oneida Eye editor during a Tribal Court appeals trial, to an outside Tribal judge being hired and taking more than five years to render a made-to-order verdict for the Menominee Tribe in a grievance matter which upheld unjust disciplinary actions & termination of employment yet made no mention of the threats and perjury by a Menominee Tribal attorney.

Given the level of corruption that seems to pervade the Menominee Tribe’s government when it comes to how they treat employees, perhaps the question shouldn’t be whether they deserve a casino in Kenosha but whether they should be allowed to keep their casino in Keshena.

Ultimately the significance of any endorsement rests on the credibility and integrity of those making it, and frankly the Oneida Tribe’s government seems no more immune to corruption than the Menominee Tribe.

For example, Oneida Eye editors have been told that a daughter of Oneida Gaming Commissioner Shirley Hill retains her gaming license and employment in the Oneida Casino Surveillance Dept. under the supervision of her own sister despite the following information which should have resulted in her gaming license being revoked:

And then there’s this disturbing information about the Oneida Gaming Commission’s Counsel providing defense attorney services for immediate family members of the Business Committee and Casino Management:

Simply put, what does it matter if the Oneida Tribe’s government gives its endorsement for the Menominee Tribe’s off-reservation casino project if the Oneida Tribe’s government fails to require proper enforcement of its Oneida Nation Gaming Ordinance by the Oneida Gaming Commission?

Doesn’t that just contribute to the perception that tribal gaming is corrupt?

Tribal Chairperson Ed Delgado and the rest of the Business Committee have the right and responsibility to hold the Oneida Gaming Commission accountable for any failure to enact proper enforcement, but apparently they’d rather just play endorsement games and allow corruption and nepotism to remain the Oneida Bingo & Casino – and Tribal – brand.

 


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