The California Valley Miwok Tribe made history and legal precedent preserving the rights of every federally recognized tribe in the United States of America. They faced insurmountable odds against powerfully connected well funded developer’s and corrupt state and federal officials. They wanted to highjack the Miwok tribe for the sole purpose of building a gambling casino. The plot thickens because elected officials were also involved in this travesty.
Chadd Everone/Ludwig, Albert Seeno, Sheppard Mullin and an army of politicians from both sides of the isle at state and federal levels have been exposed. Over 2,500 documents, correspondents and court filings downloaded from Chadd Everone/Ludwig’s web page identify senators, congressmen, state and federal officials from the BIA, DoJ and other agencies. This intricate web of corruption has plagued the CVMT for over 12 years as they struggled to save their tribal sovereignty. The incendiary documents prove beyond a shadow of doubt the Tribe was targeted to steal their blood lineage by unscrupulous well funded people. Chadd cried foul but court officers verified the site was open to the general public and not hacked. Call it a Native American Wikileaks but the information gained was priceless.
Documents revealed Senator Dianne Feinstein went out of her way to stop the tribes 638 funding through crony’s Jerry Gidner of the BIA & Arlo Smith of the Gaming Commission in an effort to starve the tribe out of existence. In one response Jerry told Dianne not to worry, letting her know the fix was in against the tribe. She denied involvement or knowing the criminals involved in the Miwok scam but documents and e-mails prove otherwise. It was just a coincidence she was a fellow trustee of a bank with one of the culprits or maybe she forgot. Dianne’s involvement in the casino scam and debasing the tribe is all too apparent, even a blind man can see the CVMT was a victim of fraud and her fingerprints are all over it.
Dianne’s husband’s association with unscrupulous developer Al Seeno alluded to even more collusive activity against the Miwok People. Unfortunately she was not the only high profile politician who used her influence to destroy this feisty band of natives. Documents reveal deep involvement with other high profile politicians in bed with common criminals and its well worth the read. The implications strike at the core of democracy itself and this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to disclose but I am not privy to reveal them at this time. But rest assured the Miwok are still under siege as their counsel’s continue to peel off the many layers of corruption this case consists of.
Money talks and California still refuses to give the tribe their funding that was withheld, to the tune of $8 million, as unscrupularity plays out its final hand. Sheppard Mullin threatened to drag out this case in perpetuity. The federal government is still in the arrears to the tribe with a bill in excess of $600,000 and it is clear corruption is still waiting in the wings. To make things even more convoluted, the tribe is yet to be allowed the opportunity to appear in a hearing involving their case. This is disturbing since it was also revealed some judges have bias against natives. Why does that not surprise me?
Hopefully the feds will not allow the bogus Newok’s, (a term to describe bogus Miwoks with no heredity) into the legitimate Miwok Nation when the final decision comes to pass. Though this tribe proved their legitimacy as the true CVMT, the courts still skirted the return of tribal funding that was illegally withheld. CVMT Director of Economic Development/ Consultant Tiger Paulk likened this to a Pyrrhic victory since the CVMT won but at such a continuing and devastating cost to the true tribal people and their wellbeing. They are still in limbo with no funding for infrastructure, social services, healthcare and the basics of any community but they don’t have to worry about someone stealing their identity. After all, who would want to be a federally recognized tribe with no means of survival other than food stamps and commodity cheese? Hmm, I like commodity cheese.
Under the stewardship of Larry Echohawk of the BIA justice was served, almost. From the tribes point of view the government vindicated the tribe and its sovereign rights as a federally recognized people. Unfortunately the government threw them under the bus while further litigation continues since they left the tribe to fend for themselves in spite of their vindication. How far beyond stupid is that? Or was it intentional? On the bright side, the Obama Administration did manage to extend unemployment benefits. This is a blessing to the tribe since they have been fighting for the sovereign rights of all tribes in America on unemployment checks and spare change. The irony I found was the fact many nations did not want to get involved or show solidarity for this tribe but now tribes are using the precedence the CVMT made in federal court involving sovereignty issues. I was amazed at the lack of simpatico when I approached a native radio show in an effort to garner more exposure back in 2007. “They will never win” was the response I got. Well bonehead, just be glad I don’t snitch you off for your callous disregard for this nation’s plight.
Later I learned from several elders why some tribes were hesitant to speak out. No one wanted to loose what meager funding they already were receiving for fear of retribution from ruthless BIA officials. Knowing now how deep corruption runs within the BIA it is a substantiated fear indeed. From Tiger’s perspective it was not about the money as much as it was about retaining their birth right and tribal identity. There was plenty of misinformation to swirl around as well and many people did not know the actual facts about the case. Spin doctors peppered the communities with bold faced lies as Newok’s ran around pleading their case to all that would listen. Some folks were very convincing but a lie is a lie no matter how they dressed or what they said.
Tiger Paulk spoke to me as to the tribes’ point of view; “They would rather be the last California Valley Miwoks on earth and if they died, the tribe would die with them and cease to exist rather than giving up their lineage to imposters to falsely represent the tribe for all time.”
It was not about stealing a tribe from some saintly old man named Yakima Dixie. It was about saving the CVMT from unscrupulous investors and developers whom manipulated an individual member and tribal elder to sign his nation away in a realm of fraudulent documents written up by Chadd Everone/Ludwig acting as an attorney. Yakima was no cherry but in his defense he was also swindled from the start since he was not allowed legal representation when Chadd drafted the infamous documents. Chadd was not an attorney and had no authority to draft such a document in this guise further compounding the fraud. Eventually, in federal court under oath Yakima came clean and recanted all the fraudulent claims he made against his own people leaving egg on the faces of politicians, developers and bogus Newok’s. Tiger said at that moment in the room where Mr. Dixie’s sworn deposition was also being videotaped was precious since all the fraudsters present lowered their heads while their counsels franticly whispered in dismay. Isn’t that special?
Having tribal documents that substantiated the legitimate CVMT claims also weighed heavily against the criminal cartel of politicians, developers and Yakima. But the coup de grace and most incriminating piece of evidence in the case came from Chadd Everone/Ludwig via his information packed web site for it gave names, dates and e-mails from all players in this case. The detailed files and correspondents were most illuminating and showed total disregard for the law from politicians who were elected to enforce them. Developers faired no better since the dialogue uncovered a conspiratorial relationship that is unacceptable in a civil society. The files are a smoking gun that will truly raise eye brows for years to come. The revelations are sure to taint even the most illustrious political careers of so called public officials and history will not be kind. It would be interesting to note what other cases these harbingers of fraud are involved in and there is no question the web of corruption will grow as the contents of Everone’s files are fully realized.
There are no words that could do justice in describing Tribal Chairperson Silvia Burley. Educated, articulate, determined and well versed in tribal law, Silvia is a cut above and even in the face of total disrespect from attorneys and government officials she forged forward. In spite of threats to her and her nation’s lives and livelihoods she marched forward in true warrior flare. Tiger Paulk calls her the Miwok SEAL with regard to her ‘special forces’ like prowess in all matters concerning the tribe. The dark side to this case is the fact veiled threats flew against her and her people. I guess you can toss in courage for she stood her ground and refused to back down or give an inch. Legal Counsels Robert A. Rosette LLC and Manuel Corrales ESQ are proof nobility still exists in the world for their legal expertise in this case is priceless.
There is no question I left out volumes of interesting and incriminating details within the context of this story. I suggest you log onto the California Valley Miwok Tribe site. They have all adjoining court documents of this landmark case. There will be more updates in the future as this case hopefully comes to a close in the future
Your Devil’s Advocate