As some of you know, in an effort to hold the Tribal Council accountable, I have filed ethics charges against Tribal Council Vice Chairman Leno. You can view the full complaint here: (Ethics complaint Reynold Leno 02-24-2011). I want the membership to know I do not take filing ethics charges lightly; nor is this personal against Vice Chairman Leno. I would have filed these charges against any Tribal Council member who acted in a similar unethical manner. I believe the Tribal Council should hold each other accountable rather than making a member, like myself, take the responsibility. In the interest of full disclosure I am sharing the facts I discovered, what charges I have filed, and why I filed them. You can also view my Ethics Charges video explaining the ethics complaint.
First, I want to establish how I became aware of the alleged ethical infractions. In September 2010 I made the decision to go to the Tribal offices and read the audits that were coming out. The first audit I asked for was for Round Valley LLC construction (RV). That audit revealed significant losses incurred by RV over the last couple of years. Also, it indicated that the RV employees became Tribal governmental employees rather that employees of RV LLC in January 2010. Finally, I read that an un-named Tribal Council member had work performed at his/her personal residence by RV.
Let me be clear, I did not know Vice Chairman Reynold Leno was the Council member who had work performed. In fact, it was not officially known until December 29, 2010 when I received a copy of the “Leno” invoice from RV acting Chairman Toby McClary. (see timeline) According to the invoice, (RV invoice for Reyn Leno) dated September 2009, Reyn Leno had work performed at his personal residence by RV. See attached invoice.
It is also important to note that in September 2009, when the work was performed, Reyn Leno was not only the Vice Chairman of the Tribal Council but was the Chairman of the Board of directors for RV with the other Council members serving as the full board of directors.
Mr. Leno having work performed by RV in it self is not unethical. His conduct became unethical, according to the Tribal Ethical Standards Ordinance (TESO) when:
- Mr. Leno failed to disclose the work to the Tribal Council
- He was charged and paid less than market rate for the work
- His brother in-law, Tom Brown who is the RV foreman, performed the work and approved the less than market rate charges
Furthermore, Reyn Leno acted unethically during my investigation of this situation by:
- Participating in the deliberations held by the RV board of directors regarding my request for information on his personal transaction with RV
- Participating in the vote by RV board of directors blocking my request for information regarding his personal transaction with RV
Each of these acts clearly violates the ethical standards outlined in Tribal Ethical Standards Ordinance (TESO). Furthermore, there may be additional ethics violations because of Vice Chairman Reyn Leno’s participation in the decision to secure the employment position of his brother in-law by re-designating the RV LLC employees as Grand Ronde Tribal governmental employees.
I hope this answers your questions regarding these ethics charges filed against Vice Chairman Reynold Leno. If you have any further questions, please contact me or comment directly on this blog.