Known By The Company You Keep [UPDATE]

There has been much talk by the Business Committee lately about the need to do something about gang activity on the Oneida reservation, including claims that there are 91 identified gang members with overall estimates reaching 140.

Nevertheless, the BC seems to have no qualms about going into business with an organization that has long been associated with corruption, mobsters, law-breaking lobbyists and general malfeasance.

We’re referring, of course, to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the recent business relationship they’ve established with the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.

The Forest County Potawatomi Tribe have made it clear that their objections to the Menoninee Tribe’s off-reservation casino proposal for Kenosha, WI are not based solely on the undeniable economic impacts a new nearby casino would have, but also on the corruption that’s long been attached to the project.

“It’s disappointing that the Menominee would release details of their correspondence only hours after sending it to the Forest County Potawatomi tribal leadership. Good governments and smart businesses that really want to achieve mutually beneficial goals do not begin those discussions by communicating via press leaks.

“Today’s actions demonstrate the ongoing problems the Potawatomi have encountered when trying to work with the Menominee.

“Time and time again the Menominee have released the selective details of these conversations to media outlets around Wisconsin. What they fail to disclose is that every offer from the Menominee has come with strings attached; whether that is working with a corrupt developer or working with out-of-state interests that will harm Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The Potawatomi try very hard to not work with questionable individuals or put our tribal members at risk through poor business judgment.

“It’s clear that the Menominee were not serious about their offer and this was merely a gimmick to garner media attention.”

This proposal has a history with corrupt individuals whose finger prints are still on the application today, and will end up sending hundreds of millions of dollars to the out-of-state gambling interests invested in the project.

“Because of its corrupt history and the promises made to out-of-state gambling interests, the Potawatomi continue to oppose this Kenosha casino proposal.”

Background

A well-documented, multi-year FBI investigation of this Kenosha casino proposal resulted in four casino advocates pleading guilty to a variety of federal charges including providing illegal campaign contributions and bribery. This included a former local elected official in Kenosha.1 2 3

This casino proposal still includes several agreements negotiated by some of the same casino advocates caught up in the project’s corruption and scandal. Key intergovernmental agreements at the foundation of this Kenosha casino application were negotiated and executed by Allan Kehl,4 the former Kenosha County Executive who was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for his work to help the Kenosha casino effort. Additionally, Kenosha casino proponents rely primarily on the economic feasibility report prepared for former casino developer Dennis Troha – who eventually pled guilty to funneling illegal campaign contributions to officials at the state and federal level.5

There are at least three out-of-state gambling interest who stand to receive hundreds of millions should the Kenosha casino project move forward. The Alabama-based owner of the Dairyland dog track where the casino is to be located will receive $40 million.6 The Connecticut Mohegan Tribe will receive $12 million for its prior work on the casino effort.7 And the Florida Seminole Tribe, who own Hard Rock International, are now the Kenosha casino proposal’s planned developer and manager. In return, they will receive a huge cut of the revenue. In previous arrangements, the Menominee tribe was willing to share more than 25% of its gaming revenue with the potential developer and manager.8

  1. “US indicts Wisconsin casino figure” Chicago Tribune, March 1, 2007
  2. “2nd Troha associate pleads guilty” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 2, 2008
  3. “Ex-official pleads guilty in Troha case” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 31, 2008
  4. Final Environment Impact Statement, Menominee Casino-Hotel 223 Acre Fee-To-Trust Transfer, April, 2012
  5. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Market Assessment Executive Summary, prepared for Kenesah Gaming
  6. Development, LLC, dated June 14, 2004 (hereinafter PWC Market Assessment), Original Submission Vol. I, Tab 5
  7. and 5.A (OIG Attachments 14). PWC estimates are in 2004 dollars.
  8. Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Section 20 Determination (page 32), August 23, 2013
  9. “Wisconsin tribe once partners with Mohegan now has Hard Rock deal” The Day, October 11, 2013
  10. “Seminole tribe’s Hard Rock International would operate Kenosha casino” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 9, 2013

 

SEE UPDATE BELOW with timeline of Dennis Troha / Organized Crime / Kenosha Casino / Menominee Tribe / Felony Lobbyists connections.

 

In his veto messages, Governor Quinn has repeatedly said that he has concerns with the ethical shortfalls of the bills and that they would allow “loopholes for mobsters.” (Source: Gov. Quinn on Chicago casino: ‘There can be no loopholes for mobsters’ The Chicago Sun-Times, May 20, 2013) 

What guarantee do Oneida Tribe members have that the agreement that the Oneida Business Committee signed with the Menominee Tribe does not allow loopholes for – or put the Oneida Tribe in bed with – mobsters, gangsters, or other organized crimes associations?

For example, the BC seemed to have either no idea about or no problem with Oneida Seven Generations Corporation subsidiary Oneida Energy Inc. teaming up with a subsidiary of a company that recently paid millions related to charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practies Act (FCPA): 

PIC to Operate New Biomass Gasification Plant

PIC is pleased to announce that it has entered into a full care, custody and control Operations and Maintenance agreement with Oneida Energy for a new biomass gasification project located in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Why PIC?

As of March 2008, PIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni Group, a publicly listed company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with $41.1 billion in revenue.

Marubeni Corporation Resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation and Agrees to Pay a $54.6 Million Criminal Penalty

Marubeni Corporation has agreed to pay a $54.6 million criminal penalty to resolve charges related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for its participation in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today.

 

No matter what WI Gov. Scott Walker’s decision is regarding the Menominee Tribe’s corruption-plagued casino proposal, the fact of the matter is that agreements such as the one between the Oneida Tribe and Menominee Tribe need to be carefully evaluated by the General Tribal Council and either affirmed or rejected because GTC simply cannot risk taking the BC at their word or presuming that the BC know what they’re doing given that the BC’s ongoing support for OSGC’s dioxin-emitting incinerators on the Oneida reservation violates their Oath of Office to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Oneida Tribe, not to mention its resources and reputation.

Here is a copy of the agreement between the Oneida Tribe and the Menominee Tribe:

Wherein we find this:

2.        Participation in Financing

OTIW or OTIW Affiliate shall have first right of refusal to participate in the financing of the Project (“Financing”) in accordance with the following terms:

a.    MKGA and its Development or Management consultant or contractor shall meet and confer with OTIW or OTIW Affiliate for a period of one hundred twenty (120) days commencing upon receipt of approval of the Compact and Project by the State for the purpose of negotiating terms of a commitment between MKGA and its Development or Management consultant or contractor and OTIW or OTIW Affiliate by OTIW or OTIW Affiliate to provide up to $400,000,000.00 in senior debt related to the Financing.

You read that right: $400,000,000.00, half of the projected $800 million cost of the Kenosha project.

So to sum up, here’s the Oneida Business Committee’s stance:

Gangs: Bad.

Corrupt Casino Projects & Corporations and Dioxin-emitting Incinerators on the Oneida Reservation: No Problem!

alfredeneuman

Official Mascot of the Oneida Business Committee

UPDATE: Be sure to read the following Timeline regarding the Dennis Troha / Organized Crime / Kenosha Casino / Menominee Tribe / Felonious Lobbyists connections

The timeline above also discusses the connections between former Menominee Tribal Chairman Apesanahkwat, former Tribal Council member Michael Chapman and lobbyist Jack Abramoff who “pleaded guilty to three felony counts—conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion—involving charges stemming principally from his lobbying activities in Washington on behalf of Native American tribes.”

 


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