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Media Articles - 1990s

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12 January 2003
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Chilocco Authority's Financial Affairs Questioned

The Oklahoman
February 23, 1991

The leader of an Indian rights group Friday said efforts will be made to get a federal audit of the five-tribe organization that manages the old Chilocco Indian school.

Carter Camp, co-founder of the Campaign for Sovereignty, said he wants to know what the Chilocco Development Authority has done with $108,000 in lease payments. A substance abuse center operating on the Chilocco campus claims it made the payments during the past two years.

Authority chairman Robert Chapman said a total of $20,000 in lease payments has been made by the Narconon Chilocco substance abuse center to the five tribes. He said he was unsure how much Narconon Chilocco paid to the authority since it opened last February.

That issue was to be discussed at Friday's scheduled meeting, but the meeting was postponed. Chapman declared the board lacked a quorum.

The authority is made up of the chairmen of the five tribes in the Pawnee agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs the Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Kaw and Tonkawa and two non-tribal members.

The five tribal chairmen showed up, but Chapman said two were ineligible to serve on the board. That left three qualified members one less than the four required for a quorum, he said.

Camp said he is trying to get tribal members to start petition drives to ask each of the five tribal councils to examine how the authority handles funds.

The 25-year lease that Narconon Chilocco made with the authority states that the substance abuse center will pay a percentage of its proceeds to the authority.

Gary Smith, Narconon Chilocco's president, released a statement Friday saying the facility made more than $100,000 in monthly lease payments during the past 2 1/2 years. He said Narconon Chilocco paid the authority its highest lease payment, $17,000, last month.

Smith said some checks from Narconon Chilocco were late, but no payments were missed.

Smith said he is concerned that Wanda Stone, the authority member assigned to head a subcommittee looking into Narconon Chilocco's finances, is also chairman of the Kaw tribe, which passed a resolution asking that the authority end its lease with the facility.