Posted on: January 2, 2023, 10:20h.
Final up to date on: January 2, 2023, 10:20h.
Two members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida declare they’ve been threatened with disenrollment for criticizing the tribe’s vaccine lottery and making an incendiary allegation in regards to the chairman’s son, The Florida Bulldog stories.
Seminole Council Chairman Marcellus Osceola, above, has denied allegations of impropriety in relation to the Shot of a Lifetime lottery. (Picture: Indianz.com)
Cousins Laura and Leslie Billie aired their considerations in regards to the “excessive stakes” lottery final month to the Bulldog, a watchdog information web site.
Dubbed “the Shot of a Lifetime,” the draw aimed to incentivize tribal members to get vaccinated towards COVID-19. However the Billies claimed the $3 million in federal funds used for lottery prizes by the organizers was “misused” and the identities of the winners shrouded in secrecy.
Laura Billie additionally authored a recall petition towards Tribal Council Chairman Marcellus Osceola, signed by 285 tribal members. In it she claimed that that many eligible, vaccinated members weren’t entered into the draw and obtained nothing from the fund.
Furthermore, Billie claimed within the petition – falsely, in line with the tribal council – that “tribal members even have data that the Chairman’s illegitimate son, who’s a minor, was the [raffle’s] million-dollar winner.”
In a tribal council assembly final month, Osceola denied any impropriety. He stated the choice to carry the lottery had been taken by all the tribal council, not simply himself.
“Individuals get sued for lots much less,” he stated, of the allegation about his son.
The tribe later confirmed in a press release that winners had been chosen at random by a pc from a listing of all vaccinated members. Their names weren’t publicized due to privateness necessities for well being information, it added.
The Billies’ outspokenness might in the end show very pricey. On December 13, the council handed a decision to ban the pair from coming into any tribal authorities buildings or faculties for 60 days.
Ought to the council go one step additional and strip the Billies of tribal membership, they might lose their share of on line casino earnings, in addition to different advantages. As homeowners of the Arduous Rock On line casino model, the tribe is rich. It cuts $10,500 dividend checks to every member each month.
We’ve got just lately develop into conscious that you’ve been involved with an off-reservation media outlet whereby false and unsubstantiated allegations towards the Seminole Tribe and its officers had been printed,” the tribal council wrote to Laura Billie in a December 6 letter seen by the Bulldog.
“The ramifications are critical and may presumably jeopardize the welfare of the Seminole Tribe and its Members,” it provides. “We won’t stand idly by and let such actions proceed. You might be to stop and desist in contacting off-reservation media retailers for the aim of creating any unsubstantiated and false allegations. Be ruled accordingly.”