National | Politics

Audit uncovers questionable spending by leaders of Paskenta Band






This Cessna 560 jet was purchased with tribal funds and was registered to Paskenta Enterprises Corp in March 2011, according to Flight Aware. It's being re-registered, presumably to a new tribal entity. "We would like to inform our members that we have located our jet and it is in our possession," the tribe said on Facebook on August 2. Photo from Facebook

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians in California released a highly-anticipated audit of the tribe's finances to its members on Monday.

The Sacramento Bee obtained a copy of the audit, which was conducted by the WilmerHale law firm. It questions the spending practices of at least one council member and an economic development official, who were said to have used tribal funds on personal expenses, including $17 million in private jet travel and $450,000 in tickets to sporting events.

“I think it speaks for itself,” Treasurer Ambrosia Rico told the paper. “I mean, seriously, it’s pretty clear as to where our money has gone and what’s happened to it and who spent it.”

The audit was commissioned after the tribe fell into a leadership and disenrollment dispute this spring. An ousted group of council members, along with their family members, were accused of misspending.

But those ousted council members are disputing the audit, the Bee reported. They said they weren't involved in the selection of the WilmerHale firm.

The issue might be settled when tribal members vote next week in a new council election.

Get the Story:
Audit finds Corning tribe mismanaged millions in casino funds (The Sacramento Bee 9/3)

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