Unqualified [UPDATED August 2014]

Oneida Law Office Senior Staff Attorney Becky Webster’s November 14, 2013 ‘Motion to Dismiss’ Docket #13-TC-129 proves that Chief Counsel Jo Anne House wrongfully facilitated an employment contract with Tribe member Lati Hill who fails meet the basic qualifications of the job referenced in his employment contract.

Atty. Webster’s Exhibit 2 is a Tribal Job Description for “Position Number: 09086,” “Staff Attorney” in “Department: Law,” which Becky claims is “Mr. Hill’s Job Description[.]”

That document says regarding “Salary” that “Applicants without a license shall be paid between 60% and 70% of salary until such time as the license is obtained,” which appears to acknowledge the fact that the person Chief Counsel Jo Anne House hired for that position, Lati Hill, does not have a license to practice law in Wisconsin nor does he have the legal right to advertise himself as an ‘Attorney at Law’ despite the fact that he does so.

Atty. Webster’s motion also acknowledges that anyone hired for Position #09086 who, like Lati Hill, lacks a State Bar License is ineligible to participate in State and Federal forums (with the possible exception of representing the Tribe directly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs) despite the fact that the Job Description states under ‘Position Summary’:

Under direct supervision of Chief Counsel, responsible for tribal representation in Tribal, State and Federal forums. Assist and represent the Oneida Tribe in all areas as needed. Continuation of this position is contingent upon funding allocations.

The Job Description for Position #09086 lists ‘Duties and Responsibilities’ as follows:

  1. Follow through on all work assigned by Chief Counsel, Oneida Business Committee and Oneida General Tribal Council.
  2. Maintain responsibility for all work assigned.
  3. Provide weekly reports to the Chief Counsel and as requested to the Oneida Business Committee.
  4. Meet all requirements to maintain licensing with the Wisconsin State Bar.
  5. Research legal questions, analyze problems and prepare memorandums and correspondence for review and/or signature of Chief Counsel.
  6. Travel as needed and/or required.
  7. Works with other counsel as needed/required.
  8. Contribute to a team effort and accomplishes related results as required.
  9. Adhere to all Tribal Personnel Policies and Procedures, Tribal Standard Operating Procedures, and Area and Program Strategic Plans and Policies.
  10. Maintain strict department security, confidentiality and quality to meet professional standards of the department.
  11. The above duties and responsibilities are not an all inclusive list but rather a general representation of the duties and responsibilities associated with this position. The duties and responsibilities will be subject to change based on organizational needs and/or deemed necessary by the supervisor.

HOWEVER, the very specific job position that Atty. Becky Webster falsely claims Lati Hill was hired for – Staff Attorney in the Law Department (Position #09086) – is in fact NOT the job position for which Lati Hill was actually hired by Chief Counsel Jo Anne House as is made evident by Exhibit 1 of Becky Webster’s ‘Motion to Dismiss’ which is a quite plainly a contract for Job Description #09075, Staff Attorney for the Legislative Reference Office.

According to the copy of Lati Hill’s actual employment contract as provided as Exhibit 1 in Becky Webster’s ‘Motion to Dismiss,’ and which was signed by Chief Counsel Jo Anne House, Staff Attorney Michelle Mays, Tribal Chairperson Ed Delgado, Vice-Chair Greg Matson and Lati Hill, the position for which Lati Hill was actually hired by Chief Counsel Jo Anne House – and which the Business Committee wrongfully retro-approved – is as follows:

ATTORNEY CONTRACT

The ONEIDA TRIBE OF INDIANS OF WISCONSIN (the “Tribe”) and ATTORNEY Layatalati Hill (the “Attorney”) (collectively, the “parties”) hereby enter into this emergency temporary employment agreement beginning on or after September 30, 2013, and ending on or before February 28, 2014, for the provision of services by ATTORNEY as Staff Attorney for the Legislative Reference Office as hereinafter set forth. This agreement supersedes all other agreements between the parties.

ARTICLE 1. Duties and Responsibilities

1.1 The Attorney will be under the direct supervision of the supervising attorney of the Legislative Reference Office.

1.2 As a continuing condition of employment, the Attorney shall be required to maintain eligibility for coverage under the Tribe’s Fidelity Bond.

1.3 As a continuing condition of employment, the Attorney shall work toward obtaining his license to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and status of good standing in the Wisconsin State Bar Association and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

1.4 The Attorney will provide the following legal services to the Tribe relation [sic] to the position identified in Job Description #09075:

A. Provide, as directed, analysis and recommendations on all legislation contemplated or pending in the United States Congress, the Wisconsin State Legislature, or any other legislative or regulatory body, and provide, as directed, analysis and recommendations on proposed regulations, rules and policies of agencies of the federal or state governments and ordinances, rules, regulations and policies of the Tribe.

B. As directed by the Legislative Operating Committee provide draft or amending language for regulations, laws and other legislative documents of the Tribe.

C. Consult with the Legislative Operating Committee and provide legal analysis and opinions as the Legislative Operating Committee may require.

D. Review and analyze proposed tribal legislation and interpret the impact on the Tribe and provide policy alternatives and recommendations.

E. Draft written opinions to the Legislative Operating Committee on specified topics and within specified times as required and consistent with any established policies of the Legislative Operating Committee and other tribal law.

Obviously the ‘Duties and Responsibilities’ of Job Description #09075, Staff Attorney for the Legislative Reference Office, are extremely different than those ‘Duties and Responsibilities’ listed in Atty. Webster’s Exhibit 2 for Job Description #09086.

Moreover, according to the Tribe’s website, there are absolutely no provisions for any exceptions to the “Minimum Qualifications” for Job Description #09075, Staff Attorney for the Legislative Reference Office, which are as follows:

  1. Must be an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.
  2. Juris Doctor or L.L.B. from an accredited law school and licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin.
  3. Two (2) years of previous successful experience practicing law.

Clearly, Lati Hill does not have a license to practice law in the State of Wisconsin let alone have two years of previous experience practicing law, nor is there any indication that he’s qualified in any way to provide adequate “analysis and recommendations on all legislation contemplated or pending in the United States Congress, the Wisconsin State Legislature, or any other legislative or regulatory body, and provide, as directed, analysis and recommendations on proposed regulations, rules and policies of agencies of the federal or state governments and ordinances, rules, regulations and policies of the Tribe.

It’s now obvious that Chief Counsel Jo Anne House failed to meet the professional standards of the Oneida Law Office by wrongfully entering a contract with Lati Hill for a position for which he’s unqualified, and that Senior Staff Attorney Becky Webster failed to meet the professional standards of the OLO by making the very basic error of failing (or intentionally neglecting) to acknowledge the glaringly obvious discrepancy between Job Description #09086 and Job Description #09075 – two very different jobs with different sets of minimum job qualififications.

Not only does Lati Hill not have a license to practice law in Wisconsin nor any credible experience practicing law for any amount of time, especially regarding legisltative activities, he cannot even obtain a Wisconsin law license prior to the expiration of the contract for which Jo Anne House hired him because the Wisconsin State Bar Exam is scheduled for February 25 & 26, 2014 (two days before his contract expires) and the test results will not be known until April 2014 (more than a month after his contract expires). In fact, it’s been suggested that Lati Hill has failed at least one attempt at obtaining a license to practice law.

It’s because Lati Hill fails to meet the minimum qualifications of Job Description #09075 that Oneida Eye Publisher Leah Sue Dodge attempted to inquire at the October 27, 2013 GTC Meeting whether Council member & LOC Chair Melinda Danforth’s comment that LOC was working with the Oneida Law Office was a reference to Lati Hill as the non-attorney with whom the LOC is working with on Tribal election laws, among other laws, and whether or not he’s actually qualified in any legitimate way, shape or form for such a position.

Obviously, despite his lack of the most basic minimum qualifications, Jo Anne House desperately wants Lati Hill to be her point man regarding proposed changes to Tribal law being considered by the Legislative Operating Committee, most likely because she knows that anyone willing to sully their own reputation by being affiliated with her bait-and-switch employment tactics is also willing to carry her unethical water in attempts to further undermine the supreme governing authority of General Tribal Council – especially someone who owes her a huge favor for hiring them despite their lack of even the most minimum qualifications.

Perhaps it’s because Tribal Chairperson Ed Delgado knew that the Chief Counsel and the Business Committee had wrongfully entered into an employment contract with Lati Hill that Ed chose to silence the Oneida Eye’s publisher as a GTC member inquiring about Lati Hill’s credentials at the October 27, 2013 GTC Meeting and threatened her with physical removal for trying to inform GTC of inappropriate actions by Chief Counsel & GTC Parliamentarian Jo Anne House as well as inform GTC about the Business Committee’s unacceptable retro-approval of Lati Hill’s employment contract for a job which Lati Hill is patently unqualified for as the evidence provided by Becky Webster undeniably proves.

Perhaps it’s because Appeals Commissioner Jean Webster realized that her nephew’s wife, Becky, made such a basic error in her ‘Motion to Dismiss’ that Jean chose to display utter contempt for Tribal law and openly violated the Judicial Code of Conduct by refusing to recuse herself as a hearing officer from a case in which Becky was acting as legal representation for the Respondent.

Or maybe Ed Delgado and Jean Webster, just like Jo Anne House and Becky Webster and Lati Hill, are simply unqualified for their positions.

The “Job Description” switcharoo in Becky Webster’s ‘Motion to Dismiss’ appears to be Chief Counsel Jo Anne House’s and Becky Webster’s attempt to pull a fast one on GTC, which is why GTC must seriously question and challenge the veracity & honesty of anything and everything Jo Anne House says at the December 15, 2013 GTC Meeting to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corporation, both in her role as Chief Counsel as well as that of Parliamentarian.

Likewise, the fact that the BC wrongly retro-approved Jo Anne House’s inappropriate hiring decision with Tribal Chairperson Ed Delgado’s blessing means that the accuracy of anything the BC says at the December 15, 2013 GTC meeting must be treated with utmost suspicion as well.

GTC simply cannot afford to take Chief Counsel Jo Anne House nor the Business Committee at their word on any topic whatsoever, especially anything regarding Oneida Seven Generations Corporation.

 

UPDATE: Here is a copy of a draft of the Petitioners’ Answer to the Respondent’s November 14, 2013 ‘Motion to Dismiss’ which addresses other aspects of the motion and would have been presented to the Appeals Commission if either Appeals Commissioner Jean Webster or her nephew’s wife, Becky Webster, had done the professional and ethical thing and recused one of themselves due to the obvious conflict of interest created by their dual involvement as outlinted in the Judicial Code of Conduct. Instead the Appeals Commissioners unethically decided to dismiss the case rather than follow the Judical Code of Conduct and the matter will now be appealed to the Appellate Court.

 

August 2014 UPDATE: Lati Hill’s name is still not listed on WisBar.org as being a Wisconsin State Bar licensed attorney, which would indicate that he has taken the Bar exam and failed (again?) or simply refuses to take the Bar exam. Lati Hill also seems to have taken down his LinkedIn profile which falsely advertised him as an Attorney.


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