May 1, 2014 7:21 PM
Tribal leaders from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians (owners of Rolling HIlls Casino) said they had a feeling something was wrong with the Henthorne Pata family for years, but now have factual evidence that they misappropriated more than a million dollars in tribal funds.
When Action News Now reported that 40 adults from that family were suspended on the April 12th annual tribal meeting, we were told there would be more information to come. Now, tribal leaders tell us this new development, the misappropriation of funds, is still just the tip of the iceberg.
Tribal Chair Andy Freeman and their newly elected Tribal Treasurer Ambrosia Rico say they have hired a forensic accounting firm out of Los Angeles late last week, and since that time, have received factual evidence of the misappropriation of tribal funds.
Also, an investigation has now begun with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and the Tehama County District Attorney's Office.
This is the first time Action News Now spoke with Freeman, the tribe’s leader and the one who told the family to leave at the April 12th meeting.
“You hear a lot of people say ‘Oh Andy made that decision,’” said Freeman. “No, that was a vote. There were 61 tribal people, and 60 voted yes.”
“Right now the tribal council is working with local law enforcement agencies to let the process play out,” Rico said. “Right now we're just focused on our members. It's very saddening for something like this to happen to our tribe.”
Forty adults from the Henthorne Pata family were suspended, along with 36 children, totaling 70 in all.
Freeman tells Action News Now that operations at Rolling Hills Casino are as good as ever.
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