Friday, March 21, 2008

Former Passamaquoddy Tribal Governor Indicted

Feather News

A federal grand jury indicted former Passamoquoddy Indian Township Governor Robert L. Newell and the tribe's former finance director yesterday on charges of misappropriating $1.7 million in federal funds.

The indictment comes on the heals of an investigation that began three years ago, after Maine's Passamaquoddy tribal members complained publicly about Newell's administration.

A federal grand jury charged Newell and former tribal finance director, James J. Parisi Jr., with multiple counts of conspiracy to defraud and making false statements.

The indictment alleges that Newell and finance director, James Parisi Jr., made payroll payments to tribal council members and Newell's relatives for work that was never done. The indictment referred to them as "ghost" employees.

Newell and Parisi are scheduled to be arraigned March 28 in U.S. District Court in Bangor.