Susan Bradford is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author, and columnist. During her four-year investigation of the Abramoff scandal, Bradford interviewed over 400 sources who participated or were otherwise privy to the key events at hand, including lobbyists, attorneys, tribal leaders and dissidents, agency and elected officials, reporters, Committee members, activists, corporate executives, among many others.
She also acquired substantial corroborating paperwork from Indian tribes and other former clients and associates of superlobbyist Jack Abramoff. At the invitation of tribal members, Bradford lived on Indian reservations and attended tribal gatherings. In 2007, Bradford became the first journalist to uncover that the Abramoff scandal had been manufactured by tribal dissidents and their lobbyist allies, including Scott Reed. She has been breaking new ground on the Abramoff investigation ever since.
Unfortunately, in a recent article about a complaint filed by John McCain with the National Indian Gaming Commission against controversial gambling attorney Howard Dickstein, Susan Bradford falsely reported (false information underlined) :
“Reminiscent of a pattern established during the Abramoff investigation, McCain’s letter to the NIGC followed a scuffle within the Tribal Council in which disgruntled dissidents running for office were accused of leaking false information to the public in order to challenge their rivals and lay the foundation for a corruption probe.
The Auburn dissidents distributed a mailer alleging that the tribe was “bamboozled by an attorney more interested in filing his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a Tribal Council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”
The Tribal Council reportedly countered that the mailer incorporated false information which “makes it appear the tribe is legitimizing this type of gutter politics and giving the allegations credibility.”
The mailer accused the Tribal Council of closing the tribe’s privately funded middle and high school classrooms while paying a lawyer $25 million.
Despite having made these claims, the Auburn dissidents reportedly served on Tribal Council when Dickstein’s percentage fee was established and revoked. If the fees were improper, why didn’t they blow the whistle then?
Dickstein has since been fired, and the California Tribal Business Alliance, whose leadership consists of representatives from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California, the Pala Band of Luiseno Indians, and the Lytton Rancheria of California Indians (represented by Rodgers), also reportedly severed ties with him.”
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Speaking of Dickstein — a widely-known but controversial figure within California’s Tribal Gambling industry — he was recently named as defendant in a suit seeking unspecified monetary damages. Also named as defendant is Dickstein’s wife, Sacramento-based lobbyist Jeannine English.
The lawsuit alleges that Dickstein and English executed a scheme that caused injury to the Plaintiff, a Southern California resident who claims his privacy and constitutional rights were “egregiously violated.”
Specifically, the suit alleges that in order to camouflage a scheme and make it appear as though it is purely a mundane action by a governmental agency and was not designed to conceal Dickstein’s and English’s own acts of malfeasance, greed, and betrayal, defendants resorted to abusing their considerable “political and legal clout.”
This clout was presumably obtained as a result of the funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars from myriad Tribal Casinos to various state and local governmental agencies/officials, as well as from English’s position as a member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, and the fact that the president of the State Bar of California, Jon Streeter, and his firm of Keker & Van Nest, represent Howard Dickstein. This , the plaintiff alleges, shows “malice and oppression” on the part of defendants sufficient to justify an award of punitive damages.
Dickstein , who is no stranger to litigation, has been previously named a defendant in a suit advanced by his client, members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nations (formerly known as the Ramsey Band of Wintun Indians), which owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, an unincorporated community in Yolo County.
In that action, the plaintiffs — who were represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and legal ethics expert Michael Boli — alleged that Dickstein engaged in myriad fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion (i.e. a non-criminal term referring to the act of theft), breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentations, and unjustly enriching himself with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.
While the suit was pending, further allegations of grave misconduct were leveled against Dickstein and his attorneys of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest including claims that evidence was “manufactured.” Later, Dickstein and his lawyers of Keker & Van Nest (presumably, John Keker, Elliot Peters, and Jon Streeter) falsely advertised and misled the public into believing that the Yocha Dehe tribe had only sued Dickstein for conduct which was “negligent” in nature. Dickstein and his legal team neglected to reference the allegations of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade through fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion, breaches of fiduciary duties, and misrepresentations which the tribe had leveled against their own attorney.
In nearby Placer County, situated between the cities of Roseville and Lincoln, 50 miles east of Yolo County, where the United Auburn Indian Community operates the Thunder Valley Casino, allegations of greed and betrayal were also leveled against Howard Dickstein by the former chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community, the Honorable Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead.
According to media reports, Tribal Administrator Greg Baker — a Dickstein confederate — disallowed a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney [Howard Dickstein] more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”
Baker, who as it turned out was involved in a separate and unrelated financial scheme, was recently suspended following on the heels of an IRS investigation into allegations of fraud and money-laundering. In affidavits filed by an IRS investigator, it was alleged that Baker was part of a scheme to over-bill the casino/tribe by more than $18 million, which would later be “kicked-back.”
Roman Porter — a long time ally and confederate of California Democratic Party operative Joseph Dunn of embattled online publication Voice of OC who now serves as the executive director of the State Bar of California — was recently hired as Thunder Valley Casino’s new tribal administrator.