Oneida Police Chief Rich Van Boxtel Ignores Elder’s Letter About Tribal Chair Ed Delgado’s Threats Against General Tribal Council & Internal Security Director Owen Somers’ Abuse Of Position To Promote Oneida Seven Generations Corp. Of Which He Was A Board Member [UPDATE]

Owen Somers is the Oneida Tribe’s Director of Internal Security and was also a Board member of Oneida Seven Generations Corporation until December 16, 2013, following General Tribal Council’s vote on December 15, 2013, to direct the Oneida Business Committee to work with GTC member Frank Cornelius to dissolve OSGC.

Owen Somers’ direct supervisor is Oneida Police Chief Rich Van Boxtel.

While Rich Van Boxtel also answers to the Oneida Police Commission, his ultimate supervisor was, until Thursday August 14, 2014, former BC Chair Ed Delgado, and the OPD Chief’s supervisor is now newly sworn-in BC Chair Tina Delgado-Danforth, whose sister Cathy ‘Tsyosha?aht’ Delgado was an OSGC Board member along with Owen Somers.

On July 29, 2014, Tribal Elder Lou Ann Green sent a letter to OPD Chief Van Boxtel complaining of inappropriate actions by Owen Somers.

Dear Chief Van Boxtel,

On July 7, 2014, I contacted Owen Somers to address Security’s position concerning BC’s conduct toward members at GTC meetings. I wanted to know exactly what Security’s function is as they only respond to BC orders while GTC members have no protection from their abuse and threats. The chairman begins the meetings with the threat of [expulsion] for speaking out, when in reality, the BC in not in session during GTC meetings and the chairman’s only responsibility is to chair the meetings. Ed [Delagdo] went beyond his responsibility  by threatening and denying GTC members their right to speak and his threats were enforced by Security.

As I was attempting to explain this to Owen, he rudely interrupted me and said it was his turn to talk and now I had to listen to him. He expressed his bias about Frank Cornelius and the fact that, according to [Owen], Frank did not have all the information concerning [OSGC] and they should never have been shut down, blah, blah. His outburst did not have anything to do with my questions re: Security’s role at GTC meetings. As is stands, the BC has all the power and control while GTC members are continuously being denied their right to speak. Greg Matson, who also chaired [the June 16, 2014] meeting, issued an order to have the microphones turned off denying Frank Cornelius and others their civil rights to speak, which was again enforced by Security.

I did not appreciate Owen’s preoccupation with the [OSGC] issue, during work hours, when his focus should be on upholding our constitution and protecting GTC members at meetings. His bias is obvious and affects his ability to function as a competent security director as he didn’t have an answer for me regarding the protection of GTC members. Also, I witnessed security officers bullying and harassing members who mill around in the corridor area taking a break from sitting so long while smokers are not bothered when they take a cigarette break. All members have the right to be treated with respect and courtesy. Please address your response to Lou A. Green, [address redacted.] Thank you.

As of Thursday, August 14, 2014 – two weeks after sending her letter – Lou Ann Green has not received any form of reply from OPD Chief Van Boxtel.

Oneida Eye has previously reported that at least two GTC members, including Oneida Eye’s Publisher, who have spoken out at GTC Meetings regarding OSGC and the need for corporate accountability have been falsely accused by either members of the Internal Security Department and/or the Oneida Police Department as having left GTC Meetings early and therefore were considered disqualified to receive a GTC Meeting stipend.

Enrollments Director Cheryl Skolaski, who oversees disbursement of meeting stipends, apparently believed the seemingly politically-motivated liars (whether police and/or security guards) and issued a letter falsely accusing the GTC members of having left the meetings early. Obviously Cheryl did not require those liars to provide any proof, even though a recording of the GTC meeting exists showing the participation of the accused throughout the meeting, as well as the availability of the Oneida Casino’s security camera footage for the GTC Meeting which would have shown that the accusations were false. Also, both GTC members were allowed to sign out of the meeting. If police or guards witnessed them leave early, why were they supposedly allowed back into the meeting and allowed to sign out?

When the GTC members sent letters to Cheryl Skolaski challenging those provably false accusations in the denial letter from the Enrollments Dept. and demanding a reversal of the Enrollment Dept.’s decision, Cheryl stated that the person(s) who made the false reports had been given a certain amount of time to respond to the objections but failed to do so and therefore the stipends would be properly granted.

Will OPD officers and Internal Security guards now start making false accusations against elders who attend GTC Meetings and dare to exercise the right to speak their mind?

As Oneida Eye previously stated, we are of the opinion that only GTC can vote to remove GTC members from GTC Meetings, and that any threats by the BC to have GTC members removed without GTC’s approval need to be addressed by police & security guards – not enforced by them.

Will OPD Chief Van Boxtel allow Security Dir. Owen Somers to continue to use his work hours to lobby for OSGC and against the December 15, 2013 decisions of the Tribe’s supreme governing body, while ignoring concerns of safety & security of GTC members from threats of removal at GTC Meetings?

Maybe OPD Chief Van Boxtel, like Security Dir. Owen Somers and departed BC Chair Ed Delgado, doesn’t really care about defending the Constitutional & civil rights of GTC members but, instead, sees his role as simply the BC’s enforcer.

Will new BC Chair Tina Danforth require OPD Chief Van Boxtel to hold Security Dir. Owen Somers responsible for misusing his work time and abusing his position to denegrate Tribe members and attempt to sway the opinions of elders to support attempting to save OSGC from dissolution which was directed by the Tribe’s supreme governing body?

UPDATE: As Oneida Eye readers will recall, ousted BC Chair Ed Delgado withdrew his call for a Special GTC Meeting to reconsider GTC’s decision to dissolve OSGC. At the August 13, 2014 BC Regular Meeting, Loretta Metoxen, who had filed a petition to reconsider that same GTC vote, formally withdrew her petition. So what the hell will Owen Somers try to do now? The movement to save OSGC appears to be dead.

More intimidation tactics that BC Chair Tina Danforth should address:

See also:

 


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