The Yakama Nation of Washington announced Monday May 11, 2015 that they have removed three tribal members from its casino board of directors. The tribal council alleges Portia Shields, Shay-Anne Spencer, and Leanne Umtuch have mismanaged funds of the Yakama Legends Casino expansion in Toppenish, Washington. According to the tribal council up to $90 million of the funds have been mismanaged by three individuals.
Chairman JoDe Goudy states the rest of the management team will oversee the facility in the interim.
The project was started last fall 2014. It includes a 200 room hotel with spa and new dining space. There is also an expansion of space for gaming. The hotel is slated to open later in 2015, with the rest of the facility finished by summer of 2016.
Ousted chairwoman of the board of directors for the casino says she was never told of the reasons for her removal. Quoted in the The Yakima Herald-Republic, Spencer said, “They didn’t provide any evidence. I don’t even have anything to defend myself against,” she added, “I wholly deny any wrongdoing or violation of any laws.”
Spencer plans to file an ethics complaint according to reports, saying the council lacks the authority to remove members from the board as they were elected by trial members.