County drug task force takes issue with CRIT’s handling of IGA negotiations

La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman, speaking as Chairman of the La Paz County Anti-Drug and Racketeering Enforcement Task Force Board (CADRE), has issued a public press release in response to a publicly distributed letter written by Chairman Eldred Enas of the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT).

In the press release, Vederman takes issue with Enas’ handling of the negotiations of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between CRIT and CADRE in enforcing drug laws in the County (which comprises the CRIT reservation). The press release says:

It is the position of the CADRE Board that we will not negotiate the IGA through the media or in a public forum. The issues being negotiated are sensitive law enforcement issues that should be negotiated in a confidential setting.  […]

Good faith negotiations are essential. Contacting the media, circumventing the CADRE Board and questioning the integrity of the CADRE Board does not contribute to good faith negotiations in a positive manner. The CADRE Board will not be intimidated by CRIT.

CRIT’s Eldred Enas wrote in his letter that he was concerned about “financial equality” in the agreement and “forfeiture issues”. The letter demanded to see audit reports detailing the drug seizures made by the Task Force since 2008, and their dollar amounts. He goes on:

As noted previously, [the IGA] has and can continue to be a very effective tool, both on the State and Federal levels. Without it, CRIT will once again be labeled a “haven” for drug-dealers and your office will be our main critic.

We remain committed to entering an Inter-Governmental Agreement with the La Paz County Task Force, however, not at the expense of compromising our Tribal Sovereignty.

The whole press release can be viewed by clicking ‘More’ below.

CADRE Press release, dated April 6th:

This press release is written in response to the publicly distributed letter, dated April 4, 2011, written by Chairman Eldred Enas of the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT).

It is the position of the La Paz County Anti-Drug and Racketeering Enforcement Task Force (CADRE) Board that we will not negotiate the IGA through the media or in a public forum. The issues being negotiated are sensitive law enforcement issues that should be negotiated in a confidential setting.

CADRE is fully committed to reaching a fair agreement with CRIT and has always negotiated the IGA in good faith. In fact, CADRE has already compromised to resolve one previously disputed issue. The issue was resolved when CADRE agreed to adopt language for the IGA that was drafted and recommended by CRIT.

Furthermore, CRIT has been invited to meet with the CADRE Board numerous times. Only one time has Chief Richard Armstrong of the CRIT Police Department met with the CADRE Board to discuss the IGA in person.

On March 15, 2011, I met with Chairman Enas in his office to discuss the IGA in detail. At the conclusion of the meeting, Chairman Enas stated that he had to attend a meeting later in the day before he could respond to issues I raised during the meeting. Chairman Enas has never contacted me with his response.

Good faith negotiations are essential. Contacting the media, circumventing the CADRE Board and questioning the integrity of the CADRE Board does not contribute to good faith negotiations in a positive manner. The CADRE Board will not be intimidated by CRIT. The CADRE Board will continue to act in the best interest of the citizens of La Paz County.

The negotiation process is a two way street. CADRE has proven it will compromise in good faith to reach a fair agreement. It is now up to CRIT to decide whether it will also compromise and be a partner with CADRE. CADRE hopes that CRIT will reconsider its position and join us as a good faith partner.

11 comments

  1. Well done Sam Vederman.

  2. Come on Mr. Enas, “demanded to see audit reports detailing the drug seizures made by the Task Force since 2008, and their dollar amounts. What is it ur business, what they seized. What they seized is “no business” of yours. Your local tribal laws are inadequate and the federal sysytem is a joke, when it comes to tribal members. I am sure you will quote the four tribal members that were recently sentenced to federal prison. So that makes like 4 tribal members have gone to prison for drug activity in the last 20 years.

    Your quote about your sovereignty and how you want to take care of your tribal members.

    I also take exception to Chief Armstrongs comments he made a couple weeks ago concening his police department out in “force”, during the concert, and how he wanted to protect his tribal members, and that one tribal members death was to many.

    Don’t you and your officers swear to protect the citizens of the United States of America regardless of color. I was offended by your comment and so should the citizens of La Paz County and the 1000 of visitors to your casino and local area. Just be mindfull of the non-tribal members who live and work and visit the Parker area.

  3. the crits do not care about anything but there own money and us tax dollars. vederman and the cops best not trust the crits.

  4. Good job Mr Vederman as always.
    CRIT has their own laws and police force.
    Why would we stick our nose into a sovereign nation.
    My question still remains–was Gene Fisher in any way connected with crit when he was a supervisor?

  5. gracie, Gene had MASSIVE tribal support, which was also a very large portion of his district. It was the huge tribal support that kept him in office for 20 years. Even after the Yakima Debacle, he only lost by 2 or 3 votes in the PRIMARY. Why? Because of the tribal support.

    If CRIT is so obsessed with being a “Sovereign Nation,” then why do Tribal Members get to vote in State and County Elections, when they don’t even pay State and County taxes?

    Its always been a huge problem in this county that the Tribes are a major voting block in county elections, when the results of county elections don’t even effect them because they don’t use county services. So they vote for people with any sort of Tribal Connection that may get them more from the County, not who will do the best job for everyone.

  6. roth aint no patriot i do beleive and the poepl in salome do beleve Veedrman doin real nice as the lawyr for the peple in la paz

  7. Billy, go to sleep and quit drinking again. This news story has nothing to do with roth. I heard roth moved away to costa rica, so leave him alone. Vederman is doing his job, and crit is not. Cirt needs to get out of the police business.

  8. I’m completly astounded–you say the crit had a say-so in the Yakama mess–yet they don’t have to help the rest of the county out?

    Blue Water Casino–no more money from this boy!

  9. gracie – well, the tribes had a say in yakima only to the extent that they can vote for Supervisors. So they all helped vote in the cause of this mess, Gene Fisher, yet it doesn’t effect them at all. While no one can say for sure that Fisher would have been voted out sooner without his Tribal support, I beleive most long time citizens of this county would think its very likely.

    Tribal Members are allowed to vote in State and County Elections, even though they are supposdly members of a “Soverign Nation.”
    As I said above, they also don’t pay state or county taxes. This would be Representation without Taxation.

    Yet, non-tribal members who live on the reservation (including the town of Parker) do NOT get to vote in Tribal Elections.

    Sound fair to you?

  10. not at all–but,what is the meaning of “fair” pertaining to all of us–the bigger the dog, the more he gets–look at all our federal employees in D C–take a look at the salarys of our local town employees. Not meaning that there are some that certainly deserve some increases Look at the salarys of our elected officials. They can vote themselves almost any amount they want.
    As far as CRIT goes, let them handle their own problems, we have enough of our own.

  11. Sam Vederman continues to impress me and my friends. His statement is well reasoned and demonstrates his ability to be firm but fair.

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