An Investigation Of Anonymous Letters

On July 1, 2014, Oneida Eye’s Publisher received an anonymous letter, postmarked June 25, 2014, regarding current BC Treasurer Tina Delgado-Danforth who was at that time a candidate for BC Chair running against her brother-in-law, current BC Vice-Chair Greg Matson. Oneida Eye did not publish the anonymous letter about Tina Danforth at that time because it contained unsubstantiated claims that seemed intended to affect the outcome of the 2014 General Election, but we feel that it is appropriate to do so now in order to provide an exhibit in a strange tale of dueling anonymous letters regarding both BC Chair candidates.

Shortly before Oneida Eye received the anonymous letter about Tina Danforth in the mail, we had also received the July 2014 issue of the Oneida Times with a front page story authored by Tribe member Yvonne Metivier titled “Let’s Have A Conversation Greg Matson,” of which an excerpt is below.

NOTE: Oneida Eye has not been able to independently confirm many of the details in the following Oneida Times story and it is referenced only as an exhibit in our examination of the two anonymous letters regarding the BC Chair candidates.

When the FBI scooped into the offices of Oneida Housing authority Thursday, June 26, 2014, to confiscate the computers, it was big news around SITE 1 and for the Tribe. …The Oneida Business Committee Based on potential criminality in a recent audit by the Tribe’s Internal Audit Department, turned over documents that had been percolating since…2011 when theft was found in a limited scope investigation [which] came about when [an] OHA employee, exposed theft and reported it to [the] supervisor[.] [T]estimony…sparked an investigation into missing Federal Energy Grant monies. That investigation by outsider Sonny Martin and Internal Audit generated other problems that needed further audits and investigation. Greg Matson worked as [an OHA] project manager…and a preliminary investigation showed double billing by Matson and mismanaged funds commingling Tribal and Federal Funds. As more audits and investigation ensued, [The Construction Manager] resigned quickly after being confronted with the finding that he…was taking Housing/Tribal/Federal inventory and using it in his side business to sell those supplies. Some of that inventory found its way into the houses of Jo Anne House, Chief Legal Counsel, and Kurt Jordan, Assistant Director at Land Management, among others.
Currently, the FBI is investigating documents from Land Management, Land Commission, and Oneida Housing Authority Construction.

There are many names being looked at by the FBI, and one of them is the PATHFINDER, Greg Matson, who speaks only and often of the GOOD MIND, and the FBI will certainly take advantage of the fact that Greg Matson seeks to HAVE A CONVERSATION.

After receiving the anonymous letter about Tina Danforth postmarked June 25, 2014 in the mail on July 1, 2014, Oneida Eye examined the contents of the letter and the hand-addressed envelope to try to determine who might have written the letter and mailed it. Among various unsubstantiated allegations and accusations in the letter (such as the claim that Tina Danforth received a loan for ‘$300,000.00 Plus’ from Tribally-owned Bay Bank) was a comment that seemed like an indication of who might have been behind the letter:

Went against Oneida Business Committee actions at National meetings – causing embarassment to our Tribe and then used her “poor health” card to get sympathy back at home

This seems to be an obvious reference to the dust-up that occurred between Tina Danforth and Michelle Hill at the 2011 National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) conference when Michelle – supposedly angered by Tina’s refusal to support Michelle’s brother, Ernie Stevens, Jr., for re-election as NIGA Chair – confronted Tina in what is said to have become a public verbal & physical altercation.

In fact, at one point Tina Danforth filed a request for a restraining order against Michelle R. Stevens-Arca-Powless-Denny-Crouch-Hill.

The anonymous letter also foolishly attempts to defend Greg Matson’s craptacular performance as chair of the June 16, 2014 GTC Meeting wherein he dictatorially refused to allow GTC members to speak, going so far as to cutting off microphones. In other recent GTC Meetings departing Chair Ed Delgado threatened to expel GTC members from the GTC meeting. Oneida Eye is of the opinion that, by Tribal law, no GTC member can be expelled from GTC Meetings without the approval of a vote by GTC, although the incoming BC seems to want to change that and give some kind of ‘Sergeant-at-Arms’ the right to act as the BC’s bully-boy.

Oneida Eye compared the handwritten envelope we received on July 1, 2014 to the 600+ signees of Brian Doxtator’s failed removal petition aimed at departing BC Chair Ed Delgado and found that the best match for the handwriting was that of Priscilla Dessart, former Executive Assistant to former BC member Tehassi Hill, husband of Michelle Hill. Specifically, compare the ways the letters ‘a’ and ‘s’ and lower-case ‘i’ are written on each sample, as well as the letter ‘e’ in ‘Sue,’ ‘Oneida,’ and ‘Dessart.’

Anonymous letter handwriting

PD handwriting

Obviously, the number ‘5′ is the most unique character on the envelope for making a handwriting comparison, but could it also be an intentional deviation to deflect identification? Who knows? On or around July 10, 2014, Brian Doxtator shared a ‘status update’ message by Greg Matson with the Facebook group ‘Best of Community Chat’ which says:

It has come to my attention that there are numerous people that have received anonymous letters or hand out from O4O group aka “Oneida Times”, through the US Mail service. These papers are full of lies and false allegations about me and others at Oneida Housing Office. In the mailing it is stated that my records during my employment at O. Housing have shown “double billing” this is also FALSE. There is documentation by the Audit Stafff, the Oneida Tribal finance area and the Oneida Purchasing Director that my records are not in question for anything. These tactics and attempts by a few individuals to distort the truth at any cost to the candidates, their families, and the community as a whole should be discarded. Please Share.

Greg Matson Denial of FBI Investigation

On Saturday July 12, 2014, Tina Delgado-Danforth defeated Greg Matson by just 27 votes (838 to 811) according to the tentative results. It seems that every other candidate that posted their signs in clusters with Greg Matson’s campaign signage won in the election, while Greg narrowly lost by a slim margin. Although he received 5 more votes than Tina Danforth at the Oneida Reservation polling site, Tina received almost a third more votes at the Southeast Oneida Tribal Services (SEOTS) Milwaukee polling site (96 to 64). On or around July 17, 2014, Brian Doxtator posted the following on the Facebook group ‘Best of Community Chat’:

Sakoli Swakweku: If you received the anonymous letter defaming Greg Matson, and you still have the letter; Please take the letter to the Oneida Police Department and request an investigation. Please share this post. Yaw^ko for your assistance.

Brian Doxtator post re defamation

As of yet Oneida Eye has not been able to obtain a copy of any ‘anonymous letters’ regarding Greg Matson, although we’ve been told that employees at the Norbert Hill Center received some kind of missive in their inter-office mailboxes in the Tribal Secretary’s office and that a new policy has been instituted disallowing anyone other than the Secretary and her Staff to go behind the front counter in the Secretary’s office unaccompanied. We were also told that the ‘anonymous letter’ distributed at NHC regarding Greg Matson was largely regurgitation (if not simply a photocopy) of Oneida Times Publisher Yvonne Metivier’s article cited above.

Based on a recent decision by the Oneida Appeals Commission it is Oneida Eye’s understanding that any charge of defamation, slander, or libel would have to be pursued in either the Brown or Outagamie County court systems because the Oneida Tribe has no laws regarding defamation, slander, nor libel.

Oneida Eye was told by Tribe members that Greg Matson requested a recount of the 2014 General Election vote; that Greg challenged the election results in a failed Motion filed with the Appeals Commission; that Greg also failed on appeal to challenge the vote; and that among Greg’s allegations are improper mileage reimbursements for Tina Danforth’s Executive Assistant, Mary Graves.

According to the 2014 General Election Final Report:

There was one request for a recount and the recount was done in accordance with § 2.11-7 of the Oneida Election Law. The manual recount of the total votes was consistent with the tentative results. There was one challenge to the election results. The Courts decision was in favor of the Election Board and “dismisses the Petitioner’s claim for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted as Petitioner failed to prove the outcome would have been different.” The decision of the Trial Court has been appealed. The Appellate Court upheld the decision of that Trial Court.

The 2014 General Election vote was certified by the Business Committee as part of the Agenda of the August 13, 2014 BC Regular Meeting. Also at the bottom of the Agenda for that meeting were the following items listed under ‘D. New Business/Requests’:

2. Mileage reimbursement investigation status report
Sponsor: Patty Hoeft
3. Distribution of anonymous letter investigation status report
Sponsor: Patty Hoeft

Departing Vice-Chair Greg Matson was chairing the August 13, 2014 BC Regular Meeting at the time these agenda items came up and was asked directly by Oneida Eye’s Publisher whether the ‘investigation’ was regarding the supposed anonymous letter about him or the anonymous letter about Tina Danforth.

Greg Matson stared at the questioner and then simply refused to answer her very simple question. The rest of the BC, including Tina Danforth, would not address the question either. (Oneida Eye will post the video when it becomes available.) Strange? Nah. It’s just par for the Oneida Business Committee’s crooked course.

At the August 13, 2014 BC Regular Meeting the BC also voted to cancel the September 22, 2014 GTC Budget Meeting because incoming & returning BC members complained they wouldn’t have enough time to understand & defend the FY2015 Budget to GTC.

The inauguration of the incoming Oneida Business Committee will commence today, Thursday August 14, at 5 p.m. in the Three Clans Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

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August 2014
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