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Posted on: June 14, 2021, 04:12h.
Final up to date on: June 14, 2021, 04:34h.
Philip Conneller Learn Extra
Former chairman of the Quapaw Nation John Berrey’s bid to regain political energy lies in tatters at present. That’s following the tribe’s resolution to disqualify him from in search of re-election as tribal vice-president.
John Berrey has been accused of corruption and embezzlement and kicked out of the election course of. He went on the offensive this week. (Picture: Arkansas Enterprise)
Berrey led the Nation for 20 years, presiding over its financial transformation into a significant participant in Oklahoma’s tribal gaming trade. However he faces felony complaints within the Quapaw Tribal Court docket, the place he’s accused of a number of counts of conspiracy, theft, and abuse of workplace.
Final week, the Quapaw Nation Enterprise Committee voted 6-1 to ban Berrey from the election race, declaring him “unsuitable for candidacy.”
‘Misspent Thousands and thousands’
The tribe is rich. It owns two casinos on its reservation in Oklahoma, the Quapaw On line casino, and the Downstream On line casino Resort, in addition to the Saracen Resort in Arkansas, its historic homeland. It additionally owns a golf course in Missouri.
However a forensic audit into the development strategy of the Saracen found that $34 million in tribal funds might have been misspent on “pay raises, bonuses, severance pay, and donations.”
The auditors consider Berrey and the Nation’s former secretary treasurer, Tamara Smiley-Reeves, siphoned the cash from the Growth Authority with out the approval of the Enterprise Committee.
The Quapaw Tribal Gaming Authority instigated the audit after it started analyzing sure allegations in opposition to Berrey and others on social media concerning extreme bonuses paid to tribal leaders and on line casino executives.
Accompanying the felony criticism is a civil lawsuit that seeks $7 million, plus damages, from Berrey and a number of other of his former employees members, claiming fraud and unjust enrichment.
He’s additionally accused of treason in opposition to the Nation for submitting since-abandoned defamation costs in a nontribal court docket associated to the accusations in opposition to him.
‘Not About Me’
Berrey advised The Joplin Globe the choice in addition him from the method proved the Enterprise Committee was “terrified” that he would possibly expose them, implying corruption.
He added that the Enterprise Committee overruled the Election Committee in taking the choice, which was unprecedented.
“The actual story is just not John Berrey,” he claimed to the Globe. “The story is the destruction of the property and companies of the Quapaw Nation, and the wealth is being detoured to non-Indian legal professionals, and the ache that’s being brought about. It’s actually hurting a number of households and other people throughout the Nation.”
“I’ve not acquired any due course of afforded to me by the US Structure and the Indian Civil Rights Act. I simply hope and pray that I can get a good shake in court docket,” he added.
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