HUD says Lumbees' spending excessive, out of compliance

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Shambaugh, Jaclyn. "HUD says Lumbees' spending excessive, out of compliance." Fayetteville Observer May 10, 2011.


The Lumbee Tribal Council is not in compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In a review of complaints conducted March 29 and 30, 2011, HUD identified problematic contracts made by the the Lumbee Tribe, as well as excessive spending and travel.

The tribe will have to repay nearly $115,000 of its grant money. The repayments must be made within 30 days of March 6, 2011. The HUD representatives went over the findings in a closed-session meeting of the Tribal Council that lasted more than four hours. The only members of the tribe allowed to attend the meeting were Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett, tribal administration attorney Ed Brooks, and former tribal administrator Rose Marie Lowry-Townsend.

Some tribal council members complained that they did not have access to the HUD report prior to Monday's tribal council meeting. Council members Danita Locklear and Shelley Strickland of District 12 both said they were not given the report prior to the meeting. Strickland and District 7 council member Larry Campbell each stepped outside during the closed-session meeting and said they were surprised by the findings. Audience members who attended the meeting were first asked to wait in the lobby for the closed session to end. After nearly two hours, they were locked out of the building.

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