Lumbee Tribal Council votes to override budget veto disputed

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Rockett, Ali. "Lumbee Tribal Council votes to override budget veto disputed." Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, NC) Thursday, July 25, 2013.


This article updates information on a controversy regarding the Tribal Council's budget. The disagreement is between Lumbee Tribal Chairperson Paul Brooks and the Lumbee Tribal Council. The disagreement over the spending plan for Fiscal Year 2013, which ends on September 30, has been ongoing since March. The Tribal Council's spending plan is $10 million more than the plan Brooks proposed, so he vetoed it. The Tribal Council has tried twice to override the veto.

There is also controversy between the council and Brooks over their negotiations on the budget for the next fiscal year, which starts October 1 and is under discussion. Brooks has delayed sharing budget and expenditure information with the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council just learned that he had submitted a pre-budget plan to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the 2014 fiscal year, outlining how the tribe would spend its Indian Housing funds (which are 90% of the tribe's budget).

The Tribal Council received a check register for the tribal government's expenditures over the last two fiscal years after they had discovered that Brooks had purchased land near a golf course.

Disagreements became so serious that the Tribal Council threatened to shut down the tribal government until Brooks shared financial documents with them. The council also threatened to contact HUD and ask the agency to stop providing funding to the tribe.

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