March 4, 2005
SENT VIA FACSIMILE
AND U.S. MAIL
Honorable Governor Pawlenty
130 State Capitol
75 Constitution Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Re: State-Reservations Casino Agreement
I am writing to warn you that I am the duly elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Leech Lake Reservation and that I have been intentionally excluded from any information and meetings regarding the on-going discussions with Red Lake, White Earth and Leech Lake. Under the governing by-laws of the Leech Lake Reservation the “Chairman shall with the Secretary-Treasurer, affix his signature to official documents” and “countersign warrants duly drawn by the Secretary-Treasurer against funds of the Band.” Simply put, the Chairman’s signature alone cannot authorize this casino agreement, nor can the Chairman or RBC draw any funds, borrow or expend, without my countersignature.
I have a duty to safeguard all funds and property of the Band. I am also required to “promptly report any and all violations of established fiscal procedures and all unauthorized use of Band funds and property with recommendations for appropriate action.” Because the Chairman and the District Representatives have chosen to circumvent the governing by-laws by intentionally excluding me from any knowledge or terms of the agreement, I must withhold my signature until I have been properly informed and given a reasonable opportunity and time period to consider the merits and impacts of such an agreement for the Leech Lake Band and all Indian tribes in Minnesota.
I am including a copy of the governing by-laws to provide the legal basis for the rights and duties of the duly elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Leech Lake Reservation. I have had troubles in the past with LLRBC members illegally using my signature block to issue checks and warrants after my attempts to withhold my signature. These actions were taken on the advice and direction Attorney Michael Garbow in 2004. I am attaching a copy of the Leech Lake Tribal Court Order showing that Judge Fineday had to include my rights in the Order of June 22, 2004, Item # 8.
I am saddened that a majority faction of members of the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee have misinformed you about their legal ability to enter into any agreement without my knowledge or signature as the duly elected Secretary-Treasurer for the Leech Lake Reservation. I only found out yesterday about the signing ceremony at your office today from a Star Tribune story. I would appreciate your forwarding to me any documents you have shared with or received from the LLRBC Chairman or attorney Garbow, as it has been clearly demonstrated that I cannot rely on these individuals to allow the full RBC to knowingly participate in this process.
Consequently, I am putting the State of Minnesota on official notice that the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe cannot legally enter into a binding agreement like the state casino without my knowledge and agreement by signature. I am attaching a copy of the governing by-laws for the LLRBC known as Ordinance No. 1 and the Tribal Court Order clearly showing my right to withhold my signature.
Please call on me at (218) 335-8200 if you remain interested in Leech Lake participating in this agreement. Thank you.
Arthur “Archie” LaRose
Attachments: Ord. No. 1 and
June 22, 2004 Tribal Court Order CV-04-108
cc: Michael Hatch, MN Attorney General
Thomas Heffelfinger, US Attorney for MN
Newspaper, TV and Radio as a Press Release