Statement from Vincent Armenta, Tribal Chairman of the
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians – January 13, 2005

Effective immediately, Gilbert Cash has resigned from his elected position as Chairman of the Santa Ynez Tribal Gaming Commission. 
 
Gilbert recently pleaded no contest to felony domestic violence charges brought against him last fall.  According to our tribe’s compact agreement with the state of California, an individual who is convicted of a felony cannot serve on the tribe’s Gaming Committee.  
 
The tribe learned about Gilbert’s decision to plead no contest on January 7th and took immediate and appropriate action in order to ensure that the tribe was in compliance with our compact agreement.
 
I have known Gilbert for some 25 years – as a fellow tribal member and as a friend – and I know that he is a man of integrity.  Over the course of the past five years, Gilbert has served in various leadership positions for the tribe on both the Business Committee and the Gaming Commission.  He brought a significant level of commitment to his tribal leadership roles.  On behalf of the tribe, we thank him for his dedication to the tribe.

 

Statement from Chairman Armenta
regarding the 10-19-04 L.A. Times Article

The LA Times article is based on allegations by a former casino employee, but there is absolutely no substance to his allegations. The former employee claims that he uncovered massive violations and took his so-called findings to state and federal authorities, but the fact that no state or federal authorities have taken any enforcement action demonstrates that his charges are unfounded. The tribe has done a good job of discovering and handling any issues within the casino and ensuring that missteps aren’t repeated. In every instance where we found a problem, it was corrected by the tribe, not by an outside state government agency, which only underscores our assertion that we can, in fact, regulate ourselves.

When we first opened our casino and federal marshals threatened closure at every turn, we were required to focus on keeping our business operating while regulating our casino. Today, we continue to focus on our business objectives, and we also make an even greater commitment to regulating our facility. The compact agreement with the state provides a regulatory structure and adequately defines regulations in a framework that didn't previously exist. Although we've been operating under our compact agreement for four years, Indian gaming as an industry is still in its infancy. It should also be noted that the allegations of wrongdoing virtually all predate the compacts that went into effect in 2000. Since that time, there are no suggestions of illegal activities or lax regulation.

Our tribe is essentially a family-owned business and like a family, if a member of our tribe makes a mistake in his or her life, we don’t reject the member. Rather, we hope that the member learns from the mistake and moves forward. With 153 tribal members, it is not unusual that a few might have taken a wrong path at some point in their life. It should not surprise people that we have all the same issues and problems that exist out in the community because we are, in fact, a microcosm of society.

 
2018 Inter-Tribal
Pow-Wow