From October 2020 to April 2021, tribal leaders spent nearly $18,000 on so-called “working lunches,” according to a letter from Chairman Floyd Azure.

In an open letter published in August 26, 2021 issue of The Journal, Azure stated the current council has been ordering “working lunches” consistently from local establishments. They are doing this “because they can.”

Azure wrote the letter in response to accusations that he was not doing his job as Chairman. So far the council has been irresponsibly spending tribal money, he alleges in the letter.

It is usually rare to have working lunches through committee and/or full board meetings. Recesses are called and voted for by the board, and if it passes the TEB must go out and get their own lunch. Working lunches are usually reserved for special circumstances, such as meeting with dignitaries of the Tribes.

Azure said recently the Sgt.-At-Arms was witnessed asking a councilwoman if the council was going to be ordering “working lunch” even though the meeting was almost over. Without asking for a vote or general consensus this spending took place. After going over the purchase orders used to pay for all Tribal Council full lunch orders, nearly $18,000 has been spent in six months, Azure stated.

In response, the TEB issued a statement very similar to a statement issued earlier this year (“United We Stand, Divided We Fall”). It states the Chairman is constantly interfering with tribal council business by ruling resolutions out of order when the council approves them.

More will be available as this story develops.