Thursday, July 2, 2009

WampumGate - Outside investors exposed behind Wampanoag gaming plans

Thanks again to Peter Kenney at WampaGate for this insightful investigative report.  Kenney writes:

Glenn Marshall was busy in 2007 crafting an agreement between the town of Mashpee and his tribe, the Mashpee Wampanoags. As chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council (MWTC), it was his responsibility to act in the tribe's behalf.  Most who are familiar with Marshall's term of office -- which ended in disgrace in August of 2007 -- know that Marshall’s actions were guided more by the wishes of outsiders  (follow link to see the investors) than by those of tribe members, even members of the tribal council.  

The tribe's white spokesman and white lawyer are both based in Boston and both have been paid by outside investors for approximately six years.  Now Marshall's agreement with the town of Mashpee is important news again. 

The town of Mashpee filed comments with the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs opposing the tribe's application to place hundreds of acres of land into federal trust.  They did so because they claimed the tribe had not reached agreement with the town over two contentious issues.  Actually, the desired agreement had been written, but not approved, by the tribe.

At a meeting of the tribe's members this past Sunday, approximately two-thirds of the two hundred Mashpee who attended voted to approve the agreement.  If the Mashpee Board of Selectmen does likewise at an anticipated meeting later this week the agreement will be brought before a special town meeting for ratification.  If all this goes according to Marshall's plan, the tribe will have surrendered its rights to pursue any further land claims against the town and will also have promised never to seek a gambling operation within the town.

Felony has found a home

Marshall was a prominent presence at Sunday's meeting.  The four tribe members whose shunning he arranged last year attempted to gain entry but were turned away by individuals described as tribal security.  Some have said that what the MWTC now calls security is actually a group of questionable individuals and perhaps even a felon.  (We leave aside for the time being the question of who is paying the so-called security force.)  But felony has found a home with at least one of the tribe's elite. 

Glenn Marshall is, after all, a convicted violent felon for a rape he committed in Barnstable.  He was sentenced to five years in prison but used his fabricated experiences in the Vietnam War to gain a judge's sympathy and a full release after only two months in jail.  Marshall's past could become an issue if tribe members or outsiders decide to challenge the agreement that is apparently headed for acceptance by the town of Mashpee.

Red flags in the breeze

Consider: Glenn Marshall lied about his military record including how many combat tours he served in Vietnam, numerous wounds and what combat decorations he received.  The truth, first reported in, is that he served a few months in a non-combat post and received not one award for valor or injury. 

He even lied to Congress -- under oath -- about his glorious past and gave an entirely fictitious version of his life and times to a Barnstable High School student who recorded his recollections for inclusion in a veterans' archive organized by the Library of Congress.  Add to this the fact that Marshall is known to have been the subject of a recent federal grand jury probe in Boston by the FBI and the IRS and red flags start waving in the breeze all over Mashpee.

What we know:
1.    Wampanoag Chief Glenn Marshall is a violent man who has raped.
2.    Wampanoag Chief Glenn Marshall is a liar who has gone so far as to lie to Congress and the world.
3.    Wampanoag Chief Marshall's personal life style became instantly and visibly enriched when outside investors began pouring money into the tribe's recognition effort.
4.    Wampanoag Chief Marshall crafted an unknown number of agreements on behalf of the tribe with the town of Mashpee and others; agreements never shown to the tribe's general membership, some perhaps not even to the MWTC.

What many wonder:
1.    What will be the outcome of the so-called federal investigations?
2.    If Marshall is found to have accepted money or other favors from outsiders as a price for his agreeing to their demands against the tribe's interests, are the agreements he made with those who paid and/or bribed him still valid?
3.    How can anyone take Wampanoag Chief Glenn Marshall's word for anything?
4.    Are other members of the MWTC who served with Marshall likely to be included in any forthcoming federal charges? What did they know?

Should Mashpee and Middleboro be nervous?  Does either town actually care about the potential for Marshall's methods to cancel their plans or are they more concerned about protecting land titles and a glitzy new casino complex? 
Good questions indeed, thanks Peter!

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