Independence Tribal Disputes Go Public

More today on the Fort Independence tribe controversy. We reported yesterday that tribal members alleged that their chairman was convicted of a driving under the influence charge and not functioning as chairman.

Tribal Administrator Don Bracken said he knew about charges against Tribal Chairman Carl Dahlberg, but he claims he doesn’t know if Dahlberg was convicted or jailed. He did say that Dahlberg requested a leave of absence for personal reasons last September.

Tribal member, Gail Stevens, had also alleged that tribal administration has failed to provide financial reports to members. Bracken said he personally provides information to members monthly. To charges that he, his brother, who is Vice Chair of the tribe, and Dahlberg all live out of the area and don’t function locally, Bracken said he has homes in Independence and the Bay area. His bother, he said, lives in Ridgecrest.

Ms. Stevens said she has concerns about financial accountability and wants a local, functioning chairman. Stevens alleges that “secrets and lies” cloud the administration of the small tribe, which recently launched a new mini-mart, gas station and casino.

Bracken said there is a chain of command and he doesn’t think there’s a problem with Dahlberg’s leave of absence.

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