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Commentary: What happened to the Catawba Nation?

"With the news of Wanda George Warren's pleading guilty to embezzlement on Tuesday, my first thought was, 'What's happened to all the bright plans and promise of the Catawba's $50 million land claim settlement of 1993?'

If federal recognition of the tribe in 1993 was the high point for the Catawbas, could there be a lower point than now? ?

� Most of the tribe's offices have been dark since December when 70 office workers were laid off over an accounting dispute with the Bureau of Indian Affairs: There are ongoing negotiations, but there's no specific resolution on the horizon.

� A plan for a high stakes bingo operation in Orangeburg County, to create a much needed new revenue stream for the tribe, has fallen flat.

� And now, the highest profile woman in Catawba history has admitted in federal court to embezzling more than $24,000 in connection with a tribal-authorized trip to Switzerland in November 2000."

Get the Story:
Dan Huntley: For woman and her tribe, sad times now (The Charlotte Observer 3/16)

Related Stories:
Catawba Nation trying to sort out leadership dispute (02/18)
South Carolina tribe suffers major setbacks (12/10)
Catawba Nation shuts down government operations (12/02)
New Catawba leaders hope infighting will end (11/10)
Former Catawba Nation official pleads not guilty (10/22)
Catawba election draws field of hopefuls and a lawsuit (10/08)
Indictment of ex-tribal official started with DOI (10/08)
Former Catawba Nation official indicted for theft (10/07)