Harjo Holds Per Capita Money Hostage During Holidays

BIA orders Harjo to return money - delay could hold up money during the holidays that families depend on

Nov 30, 2011, 12:41 ET from Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma

CONCHO, Okla., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Per Capital payments to Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal members could be delayed during the holidays because suspended Lt. Gov. Lesli Harjo has taken the funds and may refuse to return them – even though the BIA Regional Supervisor demanded that she do so.

"This goes to show that Leslie Harjo will stop at nothing for her own political gain. She has already plunged the Tribes into chaos with her attempts to take away the legitimate authority of the real gubernatorial Governor, but now she is literally taking money out of the pockets of our Tribes' families," said Gov. Janice Boswell. "This time of year, families depend on that money more than ever. For Harjo to hold it up is simply despicable."

Earlier this month, Concho BIA Acting Supervisor wrongfully allocated per capita funds to Harjo, who has no legal authority to receive or disperse the money. In response, BIA Deputy Regional Director sent a letter vacating the decision of the Concho agency and telling Harjo to return the money to the U.S. Treasury. Harjo can appeal the decision, however, that could tie the funds up in court for months and keep the money from the families who depend on it.

Gov. Boswell is calling on Harjo to return the money so it can be allocated properly and dispersed to tribal members, as it has been done in years past. She continues to examine her legal options in order to protect the Tribe's money and get it returned as quickly as possible.

"Harjo is holding that money hostage and it's not fair. I'm doing everything in my power to end this terrible situation," Boswell said. "The December Tribal Accounts PL7370700 and PL7210708 may not be very much, but it is to a lot of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Elders, Children, Disabled and as a whole. A lot of our Tribal Elders who take care of their grandchildren depend on this December Per Capita Disbursement!"



SOURCE Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma