Swett resigning as Lumbee Tribe leader

May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

By Jaclyn Shambaugh, Staff writer
Fayetteville Observer

Lumbee Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett confirmed Friday that he is resigning, citing health issues as the reason for leaving office early.

Swett, 77, filed paperwork with tribal administration Monday, but his resignation will not be final until May 23. He still had about a year and a half left on his term.

“I’ve resigned for health reasons on the strong advice of my doctor,” Swett said Friday in a telephone interview with The Fayetteville Observer.

Swett’s announcement comes in the same week that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a report finding the Lumbee Tribe to be out of compliance on several issues, including consultant and employee contracts and travel expenses. Read the rest of this entry »


Swett quits chairmanship

May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

by Bob Shiles, Staff writer
The Robesonian

PEMBROKE — In the wake of a recent HUD report alleging financial mismanagement of federal housing money by the Lumbee tribal government, tribal Chairman Purnell Swett has resigned, citing health reasons.

In a statement delivered to The Robesonian, Swett said that his resignation is effective at noon on May 23. His resignation comes after calls for it from the Tribal Council’s speaker, and as at least one group was organizing to petition for a recall election. Read the rest of this entry »


Lumbee handbook contract raises questions in HUD review

May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

By Jaclyn Shambaugh, Staff writer
Fayetteville Observer

The handbook for the Lumbee Tribe Boys and Girls Club is a 10-page stapled booklet given to every child between ages 6 and 18 who signs up for membership.

It includes information about club hours, membership requirements, rules and activities and a club calendar.

It also is riddled with grammatical errors, typos and omitted words.

And according to a March review of tribal spending by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it cost the tribe more than $30,000. Read the rest of this entry »


More calling for Swett to resign

May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

by Bob Shiles, Staff Writer
The Robesonian

PEMBROKE — Rep. Mike McIntyre says that the recent HUD audit alleging financial mismanagement by the Lumbee tribal government is an obstacle that will have to be overcome if the tribe is to receive federal recognition. His comments comes as the speaker of the tribe is saying publicly that Chairman Purnell Swett should resign, and that a recall effort is likely. Read the rest of this entry »


Turmoil at The Turtle

May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Lord Acton

We will have plenty to say about an audit of the finances of the Lumbee tribal government when more is known, but that won’t stop us from commenting on what is already plain. Some — not all — of the members of the tribal government have more interest in enriching themselves — or their cronies — than using the housing money for what it was intended, bettering the plight of Lumbee Indians who are living in distressful conditions.

The audit that we reported on yesterday and today is incomplete, but our belief is that as the onion is peeled, the odor will get more foul. That is almost always the case. Right now, HUD says the tribal government owes this nation’s taxpayers about $114,000 — a figure we are convinced will rise. Read the rest of this entry »


Swett: No plans to resign

May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

by Bob Shiles, Staff Writer
The Robesonian

PEMBROKE — In the wake of a HUD audit that alleges financial mismanagement with the Lumbee tribal government, several council members have told The Robesonian that Chairman Purnell Swett should resign.

But Swett said, “I have no plans at this time to resign. The people elected me to do a job and I intend to do it.” Read the rest of this entry »


HUD audit smacks tribe; Must reimburse $114,000

May 10, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

by Bob Shiles, Staff Writer
The Robesonian

PEMBROKE — The Lumbee Tribe has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay the federal government back more than $114, 500 in housing money that the agency says was not used in accordance with HUD regulations.

The order was issued as a result of an unannounced on-site review of tribal finances conducted March 29 and March 30 by the Eastern Woodlands Office of Native American Programs. According to the report, signed by Kevin Fitzgibbons, administrator of the Woodlands Office, the audit was made after a series of complaints and concerns were raised from about financial management. Read the rest of this entry »


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