Editorial: A long way to go on Torres Martinez TANF probe
"The director of the California Department of Social Services says he is satisfied with the progress of the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians in correcting accountability problems in its tribal welfare program.

If he's satisfied, maybe we need a new director. We're talking about the poorest reservation in Southern California, potential misuse of funds and at least seven years of unsatisfactory audits. Residents of the reservation need an effective program and taxpayers deserve assurance that money is being properly spent, not a whitewash.

In 2001, the federal government established a Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to help lift the 445 members of the reservation southeast of the Coachella Valley out of poverty. The program was quickly expanded to serve more than 5,000 families in Riverside and Los Angeles counties.

Following a January special report by The Desert Sun on the persistently poor audits, Coachella Valley lawmakers Brian Nestande and V. Manuel Pérez asked the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review to investigate."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribal welfare probe has a long way to go (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 4/2)

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

Related Stories:
Lawmakers still looking at Torres Martinez TANF program (3/26)
Torres Martinez Tribe behind on $1.54M fine for TANF (2/8)
Rep. Bono Mack calls for probe of tribal TANF program (2/5)
Editorial: Congress should investigate tribal TANF now (1/20)