Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe questions business proposal

The Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Finance Committee ended abruptly on February 25, 2016, when tribal member Debra White Plume refused to leave the meeting after the majority of the committee voted to go into executive session. She is seen here with tribal security guards. Photo by Natalie Hand

Ruse pushes to access Ramah funds for plastic bottling plant
By Natalie Hand
Native Sun News Correspondent

PINE RIDGE –– At a recent Oglala Sioux Tribe Finance Committee meeting, embattled financial consultant Gary Ruse pled for a contract renewal. Ruse, who has been under the radar because of his automatic contract renewal, also pushed to access the Tribe’s Ramah Settlement funds for a plastics bottling plant.

This caught the attention of second term council representative Jackie Siers (Wakpamni District), who began her own due diligence on Ruse and a group of businessmen that Ruse introduced to the Tribe last November to propose investing Ramah Settlement monies into a plastic bottling plant on the reservation.

The men Ramanujam Vasan and Barath Vasan from India, and Pat Shudak, a recent transplant to Gordon, Neb. Shudak is the co-owner of Open Range Beef Packing Plant in Gordon and the CEO of Nebraska Water Properties, LLC.

Siers noted some inconsistencies in Ruse’s report to the Finance Committee during his presentation.

“What bothers me Mr. Ruse, is that your name was on the proposed contract along with Pat Shudak and the Vasans to be a managing partner for this plastic bottling plant,” noted Siers.

"On Friday, March 4, 2016, the OST Economic Business & Development Committee unanimously voted down Shudak's plastic bottling plant proposal, based on the tribal attorney's due diligence report on Mr. Shudak," Siers said in an update to Native Sun News.

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