Editorial: Lumbee Tribe used HUD money for council stipends

Newspaper says Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina can turn latest controversy into a positive situation:
While the news last week that elected officials of the Lumbee Tribe were receiving a $550 a month stipend illegally will be seen as the latest example of local politicians turning their office into an ATM, we believe it bodes well for the tribe in the long run.

We will explain in a moment. First, a review.

Tribal officials have been told that the stipend is not a permitted use of housing dollars that are provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This isn’t the first time the tribal government has been told it could not pay council members and the chairman with HUD dollars.

The same directive came from HUD in 2006, yet the Tribal Council not only continued to pay its members and the chairman, the stipend has grown from $250 a month in 2006 to $550. According to a letter HUD, that adds up to $735,000 of housing money that has gone for stipends instead of its intended purpose, which is to assist tribal members with housing needs.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Pay less, get more (The Robesonian 9/22)

Another Opinion:
Our View: Learning curve darkens Lumbees' prospects (The Fayetteville Observer 9/23)

Also Today:
A HUD audit says the Lumbee Tribal Council has misused $735,000 for travel stipends (The Fayetteville Observer 9/20)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Leaders of Lumbee Tribe need to end shenanigans (08/26)