Mr. Cy Rickards, California Gambling Control Commission
2399 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, Ca. 95833-4231
RE: Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians, use of off reservation properties to support their gaming facility, sections 2.8, 4.2. Additionally, section 15.6
Response letter from California Gambling Control Commission 7/5/07
Dear Mr. Rickards,
P.O.L.O. and POSY are very appreciative of the time that you have spent on our inquiry. We are all volunteers struggling under the growing impacts of a two hundred and fifty million dollar a year (or more) largely unregulated gambling industry with far reaching ramifications that greatly affects our community and quality of lives.
Below please find a copy of your response to the P.O.L.O. and POSY complaint of compact violations by the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians. In your 7/5/07 response, you state:
“We have carefully reviewed the information you have provided and have concluded that at this time no further action is required.”
“No further action is required” did not appear to be a determination that there were no compact violations, so P.O.L.O. and POSY sent a complaint to the Governor.
Following our recent press release on our letter to the Governor, Santa Ynez Band attorney Sam Cohen publicly stated that the CGCC determined there was no violation of the compact (see attached article).
Because of this confusion, and other information about the CGCC made public since the 7/5/07 response, the CGCC’s 7/5/07 response seeks clarity.
For example, currently, Candace Cates filed a taxpayer’s law suit against the California Gambling Control Commission. Testimony from CGCC acknowledged that they didn’t know how the tribes were calculating their debts, lacked the staff needed to get information from the tribes and had audited only one of 28 tribes since 2002. "This testimony is startling because the compact unambiguously defines the term 'net win,' " McIntyre wrote. (San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 7, 2007 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi)
Since the compact unambiguously defines use of off reservation “areas…rooms, walkways, parking lots, etc” principally supporting the gaming facility as a “gaming facility”, P.O.L.O. and POSY are unclear if “no further action is required” is because the CGCC doesn’t know how the Santa Ynez Band is using the off reservation “areas..etc” or if the CGCC lacks the staff to get information and address sections 2.8 and 4.2.
The properties originally addressed included:
1) The Royal Scandinavian, the largest hotel in Solvang, being marketed and used to support the Chumash Casino.
2) Federico’s, a restaurant publicized as being converted to office and training space for the Chumash Casino.
3) Parking areas at the Royal Scandinavian and Federico’s, being used for parking for the Casino.
4) Parking areas in Santa Ynez, Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc and Santa Maria being used for parking for the Casino.
In addition, we have a new question that has been presented to the Governor and that we would like the CGCC to make a determination on.
Through our research where we obtained official copies of the compact from the state on two different occasions, both copies had Edward Valencia, chairperson of the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians, on the signature pages on both the compact and the addendums. However, copies that we obtained from other sources, including the National Congress of American Indians (http://www.ncai.org/Gaming_compacts.103.0.html) has Vincent Armenta, chairperson of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians as the authorized signer.
Section 15.6 of the Compact, Representations, states:
“By entering into this Compact, the Tribe expressly represents that, as of the date of the Tribe’s execution of this Compact: (a) the undersigned has the authority to execute this Compact on behalf of his or her tribe and will provide written proof of such authority and ratification of this Compact by the tribal governing body no later than October 9, 1999...”
The State is promoting expansion of Indian gambling as enforceability issues mount. The California taxpayer and impacted hosting communities are entitled to equal protection of the law and accountability by clear determinations.
P.O.L.O. and POSY respectfully request the following from the CGCC:
Please provide a written determination on each of the above listed off-reservation properties and if they are in violation, or why they are not, of sections 2.8 and 4.2 of the tribal state compact. Please address each property separately.
Please provide a written determination as to why there are two compacts with two different tribal chairpersons signatures on the same date.
Please provide the written proof that Vincent Armenta had the authority to execute this Compact on behalf of the Santa Ynez Band and ratification of this Compact by the tribal governing body no later than October 9, 1999, as per section 15.6 requires.
If the compact signed by Mr. Armenta is not valid, please provide a written determination explaining how the compact signed by Mr. Valencia is valid since Proposition 5 that it was based on was struck down by the California courts and voters had to vote again at a later date (2000, Prop 1A).
Thank you very much for your attention to this very important matter. We look forward to your timely response.
P.O. Box 722
Los Olivos, Ca. 93441
Cc: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Governor
DEAN SHELTON, CHAIRMAN
JOHN CRUZ 2399 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 100 STEPH.A.NIE SHIM.A,ZU Sacramento, CA 95833-4231 ALEXANDRA VUKSICH
GAMBLING CONTROL COMMISSION
(916) 263-0700 Phone
(916) 263-0499 Fax .
July 5, 2007
XXXXXXX, Preservation of Los 011\105, -POLO
P.O. Box 722
Los Olivos, California 93441
Re: Santa Ynez Band. Chumash Casino
Thank you for your letter dated June 26, 2007, copy to Executive Director Steven Giorgi.
We have carefully reviewed the information you have provided and have concluded that at this time no further action is required.
Thank you for your interest in this matter.
Cyrus J. Rickards, Chief Counsel Legal Division
Cc: Steven V. Giorgi, Executive Director
Wednesday, Sep 12, 2007
Posted on Tue, Sep. 11, 2007
Santa Ynez groups allege Chumash violated casino compact
Two anti-gambling groups accused the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians of violating the state gaming compact.
Representatives of the two groups, Preservation of Los Olivos and Preservation of Santa Ynez, said they want Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to enforce the terms of the Chumash casino pact.
The groups claim the tribe violated the agreement with the state by using gambling profits to buy and operate off-reservation properties to expand the Chumash gambling business.
Earlier this year, the tribe bought Solvang's largest hotel, the Royal Scandinavian Inn, and it is converting the former Federico's restaurant in Buellton into office space.
"It is becoming increasing clear that there is no will to enforce the compacts because the largely unregulated multibillion dollar Indian casino gambling industry is controlling our elected officials," Los Olivos preservation group spokeswoman Kathryn Bowen said in a statement.
The groups filed a complaint earlier with the California Gambling Control Commission asking for an investigation, but the commission determined there had been no violations of the compact.
"We have responded to the off-reservation property question on many occasions and so has the California Gambling Control Commission, but apparently the POLO/POSY members will continue to search through the corners of the earth until they get an answer that they want to hear. I assume they will be searching into eternity," tribal attorney Sam Cohen said.
© 2007 San Luis Obispo Tribune and wire service sources.
9/13/07, by email from Cy Rickards, California Gambling Control Commission
Thank you for your e-mail. Since the issues you mention below have been brought to the attention of the Governor's Office we will have no further response. Nor can we have any comment about the Cates case since it is still a pending litigation matter.