Chairman Issues Temporary Hotel and Gas Spending Freeze
By Joe Morey
Following the decision by LCO Chief Judge Elaine Smith to confirm LCO Chairman Louis Taylor’s assertion that only a majority vote of the Tribal Governing Board (TGB) can spend tribal funds, and that it was unconstitutional for any individual TGB member to spend those funds, the Chairman and LCO Secretary-Treasurer Tweed Shuman sent out notices on Wednesday, June 7, to enterprises that there would be an immediate freeze on discretionary spending.
In a notice to all enterprises and the Sevenwinds Casino, a memo was sent from the Chairman and Sec-Treasurer announcing that the Tribe is unable to maintain its donation spending for this fiscal year.
“As the Secretary/Treasurer for the Tribe, I am obligated to provide an accounting for all funds handled by the Tribal Governing Board. Additionally, pursuant to the Lac Courte Oreilles Amended Constitution and Bylaws, all expenditures by the Tribal Governing Board shall be in accordance with the approved budget. To control spending and to properly account for tribal funds within the approved budget, there will be no approved discretionary donation spending. This freeze of donation spending is temporary but is necessary due to an ongoing investigation into such spending,” the memo stated.
The announcement to enterprises states that no discretionary donation spending will be approved after June 10th.
In a separate notice, a letter was sent to Amerivu Inn & Suites in Hayward announcing that the Tribe would no longer compensate them for hotel stays of LCO Tribal Members, or any individuals that have been compensated rooms, under the Tribe's approval and/or financial responsibility.
“The Tribe is requesting that the AmeriVu Inn & Suites submit a final invoice to the Tribe for the hotel stays through June 10th, 2023. Any payment for hotel rooms after this date should be deemed the responsibility of the person(s) registered for the room(s), or however your business deems appropriate,” the memo states.
Further, the announcements to Sevenwinds and all enterprises states, “The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe, by and through its Chairman and Sec-Treasurer, hereby directs that Sevenwinds Casino, Lodge & Conference Center and all tribal enterprises to cease the acceptance of any discretionary spending requests from Tribal Governing Board members including, but not limited to, hotel stays, gas vouchers, food payments, and any compensation or donations requested, as the LCO Donation Fund has exceeded its approved budget amount.”
The memos conclude by referencing LCO Court Order, Case No. 23-CV-287.