Leech Lake Reservation’s
Secretary-Treasurer’s Press Release

March 18, 2005
Telephone: 218-760-7415

LaRose’s hopes for Leech Lake’s elected officials to work together

Barely two weeks into office newly, re-elected Secretary-Treasurer Arthur “Archie” LaRose has again been threatened with arrest for trespass by his co-elected Reservation Business Committee (RBC) members if LaRose does not willingly relocate from the Leech Lake Reservation Government headquarters.  The same elected LLRBC officials who want LaRose to office elsewhere have threatened to fire his assistant, if LaRose sends out any correspondence which they have not reviewed and approved.  Additionally, the RBC faction has threatened to change the governing by-laws to take away LaRose’s duties if he does not sign and execute documents, like the State-Reservations Casino Agreement, which negotiations to date have been conducted behind LaRose’s back.

LaRose said Thursday, “I wasn’t elected by the People to be a rubber stamp for those guys” meaning Goggleye, Finn, Losh, Wilson and Garbow, “the People elected me to find out what these guys have been hiding and to do a forensic audit back to 1998.” LaRose went on to say that “I’m here for the People and if this RBC can use the police to try to intimidate me, you know they are doing the same to other tribal members.”

In a Special Meeting of the LLRBC last week, the three District Representatives, Wilson, Losh and Finn voted for a deadline of March 16, 2005, for LaRose to relocate his offices or face arrest for trespass.  LaRose did agree to move out from the RBC Administration building on Tuesday to reduce tensions.  But Thursday morning, District 3 Representative Finn’s son, Donald Finn, Jr. along with Rod Northbird, the Security Director for all three Casinos, showed up in LaRose’s office uninvited and unannounced threatening assault, wanting to fight.  The police had to be called and criminal charges are expected to be filed next week.

Later, Thursday evening, LaRose was at the Cass Lake Palace Casino and was arrested for trespassing.  LaRose was previously arrested on his first day in elected office, February 25th by tribal police for being at the Palace Casino.  But less than two weeks later the Cass County Attorney motioned the District Court to dismiss the trespass matter recognizing that LaRose is an elected member of the LLRBC who does have official duties and that the Casino is a public, tribal business located on tribal land.  “Its crazy,” LaRose said, “Leech Lake Legal Director Garbow is trying to use state law and state court to politically convict me of a bogus charge when he should be defending me as an elected official and defending our tribal sovereignty.  I’m one of the five RBC members of the Leech Lake Gaming Commission!”

In a related matters, two new Petitions for Special Meetings of the LLRBC were delivered to the Leech Lake Reservation headquarters Tuesday by band members.  The first Petition seeks the enforcement of Luke Wilson’s irrevocable resignation as District 1 Representative, when he resigned to become a candidate for Secretary-Treasurer in the first Special Election.  That Special Election was canceled by the LLRBC following a Tribal Court hearing and later Order which noted “there was also testimony that Candidate Burton “Luke” Wilson had improperly contacted election board members by telephone at their homes.”

The second Petition is for a Special Meeting seeking a reservation wide referendum on the State-Reservation Casino Agreement.  LaRose supports the referendum saying “the People should be allowed to decide if millions of dollars should be borrowed.  This could be the most destructive agreemenLet to Indian Gaming statewide.”  Both agenda items are scheduled for a public meeting next Friday, March 25, 2005 at 9:00 A.M. at the Palace in Cass Lake, MN.

“I wish my fellow RBC members would try to show some respect for the People’s vote and the elected office of Secretary/Treasurer,” LaRose said. “I believe we all need to leave our personal feelings outside the office when we come to work and work together to serve all the People. I pray to the Creator every day that day comes soon.”