Oneida Business Committee Wants ‘Power-Hungry’ Former Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter To Run Oneida Seven Generations Corp. [UPDATE]

Robert Odawi Porter

Robert Odawi Porter

Reports are coming in that – despite the General Tribal Council’s December 15, 2013 vote to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corporation – the majority of the Oneida Business Committee is recommending that former Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter be hired to run OSGC with two of his hand-picked cronies.

From the October 12, 2013 Buffalo News, ‘Harsh accusations, big stakes in Seneca Nation presidential election’:

Robert Odawi Porter’s critics accuse the outgoing Seneca president of being a smooth-talking, power-hungry leader who put family members in high-paying jobs and made millions of dollars in salaries and legal fees while working for the Seneca Nation over the past decade.

…Snyder supporters say Porter and his wife, Odie Brant Porter, have made more than $5.9 million working for the tribe over the past decade. Before he became president, Porter earned a $465,000 salary as chief legal counsel for the Senecas, plus an additional $250 for each hour in the courtroom, according to Snyder’s supporters.

…Odie Brant Porter makes at least $185,000 a year as president and CEO of a Seneca Nation subsidiary, the Seneca Construction Management Corp.

Snyder supporters say at least six more members of Porter’s family – including his mother, his sister and some cousins – hold high-ranking, appointed jobs in the Seneca government that bring in at least $375,000.

Meanwhile, Porter has fired or threatened to fire Seneca workers who associate with Snyder’s party, according to Snyder.

Lenith Waterman, 62, said Porter laid her off in late August after he learned she planned to run for tribal clerk on Snyder’s ticket. Waterman had been a $55,000-a-year aide in Porter’s office.

“I have worked for the nation for 20 years, and none of the presidents I worked for were as much of a tyrant as Rob Porter,” said Waterman, a sister of Joyce Waterman Cruz.

Through a spokesman, Porter said he appointed Waterman to her job and had the right to lay her off.

…In a tribe where many people live in poverty in worn-down trailers and some still do not have indoor plumbing, Snyder criticized Porter for recently buying a luxurious $485,000 home in North Buffalo and enrolling his children in the expensive Nichols School. 

Snyder said the move illustrates that Porter has “abandoned his people” and put his own personal comfort ahead of his duties as president.

Hmm. Sounds like a perfect match for OSGC.

What’s also interesting is that Robert Odawi Porter joined the law firm SNR Denton in January 2013, and as Oneida Eye readers may recall, Eric R. Decator – the Evanston, IL based attorney who is affiliated with Arland Clean Fuels & ACF Services which was illegally running an open-flame waste incineration operation at the OSGC owned 1201 O’Hare, Hobart, WI, – was also at one point a Partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, the ‘SNR’ in ‘SNR Denton.’

Then there’s this:

A prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm that recently hired former Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter as a senior counsel received millions of dollars in fees from the Senecas while Porter held leadership posts with the tribe, The Buffalo News has learned.

Elliott I. Portnoy, a partner at the SNR Denton law firm, went to college with Porter, has been one of his closest friends for decades and was best man in Porter’s wedding, Seneca Nation sources confirmed.

Critics of Porter in the Seneca Nation contend that Porter helped steer at least $6 million in Seneca Nation legal fees to his old friend’s law firm. They question whether Porter’s new job – announced in late January – is a reward for steering that business toward SNR Denton.

“To my knowledge, Rob Porter’s close association with [Portnoy] was never disclosed to the Tribal Council,” said a former Seneca Nation leader who is familiar with the situation but who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak by the current Seneca Nation government.

“I think the Tribal Council should have been given that information before they approved the hiring of this law firm,” the source said.

…“Porter was our nation’s senior legal adviser, and then, our president. Under his leadership, we gave more than $6 million in business to the law firm where his best friend is a partner,” the former Seneca official said. “To me, it isn’t right.”

And isn’t this interesting?

Tracey A. LeBeau (Cheyenne River Sioux) is Director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. …More recently she served as Principal at SNR Denton.  …At SNR Denton, Tracey was co-chair of its Renewable Energy Practice[.]

And when they say “renewable energy” you know what they actually mean: Incinerating garbage, dairy sludge, human waste, medical & hazardous waste, ‘auto-fluff’ (whatever that means; sounds pornographic), GMO biomass and whatever else they can get their hands on.

Now to square the circle:

Conference presenters from SNR Denton‘s Indian Law and Tribal Representation team and conference chairs offered information on how tribes can secure New Market Tax Credits when funding their projects by leveraging their investments. …”A majority of states now have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) requiring their utilities to use a percentage of electrical power from renewable energy resources,” stated Little Fawn Boland, a partner at SNR Denton and William Cornelius who co-presented on the subject.

The rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper.


Dec. 23 continuation of Dec. 15 & 18 BC Emg Mtg

Dec. 23 continuation of Dec. 15 & 18 BC Emg Mtg

[UPDATE: Apparently the BC was not able to come to a decision at the Friday December 20 extension of their Wednesday December 18 Emergency Meeting and are now scheduled to reconvene on Monday December 23 at 1 p.m. Also, reports are that the BC is planning to hold the ‘Do-Over’ GTC Meeting to ‘reconsider’ the December 15, 2013 decision of the Tribe’s supreme governing authority sometime in February 2014. In the meantime you can save the following link to periodically check if there’s been a decision made in OSGC’s appeal of Judge Marc A. Hammer’s January 9, 2013 ruling in support of the right of the City of Green Bay to revoke OSGC’s Conditional Use Permit to build a garbage incinerator on the basis that OSGC lied to the public and elected officials: Oneida Seven Generations Corporation v. City of Green Bay, Appeal Number 2013AP591.]


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As It Happens

December 2013
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