Posted in the Salamanca Forum
#1 Oct 17, 2012
I find it amusing that the natives started reporting everthing they do to the media. I remember when that was a no-no. What changed?
Seneca Nation to discuss missing “millions of dollars”
BY: DAN HERBECK
Locked in a heated election campaign, leaders of the Seneca Indian Nation have scheduled a Thursday morning press conference to discuss allegations of “possible fraud surrounding the whereabouts of millions of dollars meant for the Seneca people.”
While Seneca officials declined to comment on the specifics, The Buffalo News learned that tribal officials will discuss a matter involving Barry E. Snyder Sr., a four-time Seneca Nation president who is one of the candidates in the tribe’s Nov. 6 election.
Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter and Tribal Council Chairman Richard E. Nephew –who is running for president against Snyder and three other candidates – said they could not reveal what will be discussed at the press event.
“[Seneca officials will] announce an investigation into possible fraud surrounding the whereabouts of millions of dollars meant for the Seneca people,” the Senecas said in a press release.
Snyder told The News he has “no idea” what will be discussed, but said he has nothing to hide. He said he is certain the current Seneca Nation leadership will be trying to discredit him “for political reasons.”
“I have no idea what they’re talking about. They’ll try anything,” Snyder said.“I think they are feeling the heat of the election. A lot of people are going with me.”
In a very hard-fought election campaign, Snyder and Nephew are running against Cyrus Schindler, a former president; former Erie County Sheriff’s detective Norman “Cochise” Redeye and businessman Aaron Pierce. Porter cannot run for re-election because Seneca Nation laws bar anyone from serving as president two terms in a row. Porter is seeking the treasurer’s post, as Nephew’s running mate.
The winner of the presidential election will control 1,300 tribal government jobs and have strong influence over the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars annually by the tribe and its gaming corporation, which runs three casinso.
Candidates, particularly Nephew and Snyder, have been trading heated accusations.
Nephew has raised numerous questions in recent weeks about Snyder’s involvement in a $900,000 land fraud involving the Senecas’ Hickory Stick golf course in Lewiston. A former lawyer for Snyder and a former top aide to Snyder have been implicated in federal court charges, but Snyder has not been charged in the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
Reliable sources told The News that Thursday’s press conference will not focus on the golf course, but another financial matter involving Barry Snyder.
Snyder served as president before Porter, who
#2 Oct 17, 2012
So what time is this press conference and what channel?
#3 Oct 18, 2012
Robert Odawi Porter, the current Seneca Nation president, says he’s heard rumors of political donations, legal fees and other questionable spending.
Barry Snyder Sr., the former Seneca president running for a new term as the nation’s leader, says the allegations are rooted in nothing more than politics.
Porter and Snyder squared off in a debate –they held dueling news conferences Thursday – over the Seneca Diabetes Foundation, a seven-year old charity formed to address the alarming rate of diabetes among Native Americans.
“Where’s the money?" Porter asked of the charity.“Who’s money is it? And why can’t we get any benefit from it?”
In raising questions about the Foundation, Porter is pointing a finger at Snyder in what is becoming an increasingly negative campaign for Seneca Nation president.
“It’s amazing what elections bring out in people,” Snyder, a candidate for president, told reporters.“The president of the Seneca Nation should be above that.”
Porter, who can not run for re-election, stopped short of accusing Snyder and the Foundation of wrongdoing, but he did call for a full accounting of the group’s activities within seven days.
When asked why, Porter referred to “rumors" of inappropriate spending, as well as documents indicating the Nation is receiving little for its support of the diabetes organization.
He claims the Foundation raised $2.6 million since it was formed in 2005 and has spent only 11 percent of that on services to the Nation,
“These issues go well beyond politics," said Richard E. Nephew, Snyder’s opponent in the race for president.“We’ve asked on many occasions for an accounting and have not received the answers we’ve wanted.”
Snyder said the Foundation has raised about $5.5 million, double what Porter estimated, and has spent about half of that on a wide range of health care and education services. The balance remains in the bank.
Chief among the group’s expenses is a $1.5 million endowment with Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. Snyder said the endowment funds a full-time doctor, an endochronologist, and full-time nurse practitioner who visit with diabetes patients on the reservations.
Foundation officials claim the program has helped 400 families.
“We wanted to set up something that would be permanent," Snyder said of the endowment and the services it funds.
Formed seven years ago, the foundation is one of Snyder’s pet projects and has been at the center of controversy before.
In 2009, Snyder reportedly led a campaign to oust the then chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corp, after the corporation redirected its $150,000-a-year contribution to the Foundation.
Snyder attributed the change in casino leadership to hard economic times and the ever-changing gambling industry.
The foundation became news again in February when State Sen. Mark Grisanti tussled with two Seneca businessmen, Eric white and Seth Snyder, after a black tie gala for the Foundation at the Seneca Niagara Casino.
The charity was created in part as a response to what Snyder and others at the time called ‘the single greatest health problem among Seneca Indians.”
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#4 Oct 19, 2012
more trouble makers
#5 Oct 19, 2012
Where's the topix on Barry Sr? Why is it hard for the ppl to get answers on the Hickory Stick deal?
#6 Oct 19, 2012
Porter and Nephew did this for no other reason than to make Snyder look bad. He did not need help looking bad. He has done that just fine on his own. It is a blatant political ploy! The ones who really look stupid are Nephew and Porter! Their allegations are supposedly based on an audit done in 2010 and they're just now questioning the use of funds from the diabetes Foundation? To go public with this ridiculous barrage of accusations is an insult to the intelligence of their own people. It comes from desperation and greed and any person who votes for them OR Snyder is very foolish. Someone else pointed out how it was always taboo to air any Seneca Nation dirty laundry in public and here all these morons are talking to the press about it! They all promise transparency in governing and the only thing transparent is their motivation for leveling charges at each other. If it wasn't so disgusting it would be laughable.
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