Torres Martinez Tribe behind on $1.54M fine for TANF
The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians of California say they can't pay a $1.54 million fine over mismanagement of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds.

The tribe was assessed a $625,380 penalty for misuse of TANF funds in fiscal year 2002, to be fully paid by September 30, 2009. Another $912,500 penalty for misuse in 2003 is to be fully paid by December 21, 2011.

While the tribe has made $275,000 in payments so far, Chairwoman Mary Resvalos asked for forgiveness of the rest. “The hardship is such that if the tribe continues to make payments, it will become bankrupt,” she said in a letter to the Administration for Children and Families, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported.

The request was denied, the paper said.

Get the Story:
Tribe lags on welfare program fine (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 2/7)

Special Report:
Aid to Indian Country: A Desert Sun investigation (The Palm Springs Desert Sun January 2010)

Related Stories:
Rep. Bono Mack calls for probe of tribal TANF program (2/5)
Editorial: Congress should investigate tribal TANF now (1/20)