Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Detroit Sanctioned Los Coyotes Leadership Coup; plus Lawsuits, Arson, Blackwater and "Bonfiglio?"

The Eagle Fire started when a Los Coyotes member torched an
Eagle Rock guard shack. - Photo courtesy of Cal Fire San Diego
Clearly the Detroiters using the Los Coyotes Tribe as a tool to achieve their dreams of developing and running  a casino in Barstow (CA) are catalysts, if not wholly responsible for, this upheaval  (updated in the excerpts below from SDCityBeat.com) at the Los Coyotes Reservation.

As you read this, consider that the character mentioned in the article as Shane Chapparosa is a tool of the Detroit casino interests.  Whenever they fear trouble, they trot him out, prop him up – and reward him – to act as the new Chair of the tribe.  At least twice before the Detroiters have had to “arrange” for his leadership of the tribe when the then-true-leader attempts to take the tribe in a direction that might not be in the Detroiters’ best interest.

But since June, Los Coyotes—a tribe of about 300 members—has been trying to boot the company off its land, claiming the lease was never valid. The conflict has since escalated to a series of showdowns, which ERTC alleges led to the arson [allegedly STARTED BY TWO TRIBAL MEMBERS] that caused the 14,000-acre Eagle fire in July...

An eviction deadline was extended until July 29 as the parties continued to negotiate. The tribe asked to review upcoming training plans, which it would evaluate before allowing them to proceed. Meanwhile, ERTC began to threaten legal action if the Notice to Vacate was not rescinded. It was against this backdrop that tribal member and former ERTC employee Jeremy Ortiz and Jesse Durbin allegedly stole ERTC surveillance cameras, then poured gasoline on an ERTC guard shack and set it alight, kicking off the Eagle fire. Ortiz admitted to the crime, according to an arrest warrant in the criminal case file.

...During the last two weeks, the dispute has come to a head, with tribal police informing ERTC that its employees, customers and equipment would be ejected from the reservation. In response, ERTC filed a federal lawsuit on Sept. 16, asking for a temporary restraining order. The request was withdrawn when the tribe temporarily agreed to allow a military training event scheduled for Sept. 21 to go ahead. The overall dispute has not been resolved.

In filing the suit, ERTC released dozens of pages of records, including contracts, plans and correspondence that shine a light on how the military contractor attempted to bypass state and county regulations by building on Indian land.

As early as 2006, former Blackwater Vice President Brian Bonfiglio wanted to build a training facility in San Diego County. The initial plans were abandoned in 2008, following significant community outcry (though Bonfiglio asserted the activism had no impact on the decision). Around the same time, he approached the Los Coyotes tribe, an impoverished community that had long struggled to find a way to capitalize on land that was otherwise unsuitable for commercial development...

Brian “Bonfiglio?”  Interesting, because the Detroiters (Michael Malik/MJM Enterprises) at one time employed Barbara Bonfiglio, a rather connected GOP lobbyist in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Bonfiglio was so well connected that she got caught up in the political scandals that brought down House Speaker Tom DeLay, Senator Rick Santorum, and Reps. Richard Pombo and Don Young.  Then one day, without notice, she packed up her desk at Williams & Jensen, and went under the radar.  The firm was tight-lipped about her departure.  She’s since surfaced as an executive at Pfizer.

...In March 2010, Bonfiglio struck a six-year deal with the tribe’s chairperson, Francine Kupsch, under which the facility would be built on the reservation and the tribe would receive a 10-percent slice of the profits. In November 2010, Kupsch authorized an extension of the lease until 2035, with the added requirement that ERTC build a children’s playground and a 1,250-square-foot tribal office and hall. Two tribal members who owned part of the land that would become an asphalt driving track would receive $500 in monthly rent. The agreement also included a waiver of the tribe’s right to sovereign immunity from the U.S. court system.

What the document does not contain was the tribe’s official seal of approval, even though there’s a place for it on the agreement.

Kupsch was replaced as chairperson on Jan. 1 by Shane Chapparosa, under whose watch the tribe developed concerns with the 25-year agreement.... (Complete Story at SDCityBeat.com)

Poor Francine Kupsch, when she was of use to the Malik & his Detroiters, they trotted her out in Sacramento, exploited her personal circumstances with photos and stories they sent out over PR wires and had her stage a hunger-strike/sit-in on the grounds of the State Capitol.  Now, they’ve had her tossed out as Chair!  [Note to Tribal Chairs:  whenever the Detroiters, aka the bully Mike Malik, fear they’re losing their grip on your Tribe, they arrange a coup and toss out the Chair.  Take a look at the case of Los Coyotes respected elder Katherine Siva Saubel; or one-time Bay Mills Indian Community leader John Lufkins.]

Worth Consideration:  Los Coyotes, Barwest, Michael Malik ↔ Barbara Bonfiglio ↔ DeLay, Santorum, etc. ↔ GOP  ↔ Bush ↔ Texas ↔ Blackwater ↔ ERTC ↔ Brian Bonfiglio ↔ Los Coyotes

1 comment:

Al said...

As strange as this case may seem, stranger things have happened. The legal world is very colorful, and a class action lawyer I know can attest to that.

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Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? Forbes.com 10.09.06 ● Marian Ilitch #1 on "25 Most Powerful People" to Watch 2006” global gaming business o1.oo.o5 ● My Kingdom for a Casino Forbes 05.08.06 ● Big Lagoon’s casino dream awakens north coast journal 07.28.05 ● Shinnecocks launch legal claim to Hamptons land newsday.com 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire RGTonline.com 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners MichiganDaily.com 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute detnews.com 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller freep.com 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit rgtonline.com 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged freep.com 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer desertdispatch.com 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project LasVegasSun.com 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow signonSanDiego.com 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles detnews.com 10.23.02 ● Vanderbilt gets short straw in negotiations for a casino Lansing Journal 10.06.02 ● Indians aim to drive family from tribe in vicious dispute san diego union tribune 04.09.00 ●Malik owns 2000 Michigan Quarter Horse of the Year Michigan.gov 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino detnews.com 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch detnews.com 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests gamblingmagazine.com 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E detnews.com 04.25.99 Investors have troubled histories las vegas review journal 04.27.99 ● Investor served probation for domestic assault on 12 year old boy detnews.com 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... crainsdetroit.com 03.17.97

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