WyBETT
                             Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
WyBETT   Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
 
 Management Shakeup Rocks Casino

SANTA ANA PUEBLO - There has been an-apparent management shakeup amid financial impropriety at Santa Ana Pueblo's gambling casino, KOAT-TV reported Wednesday. Tribal representatives would not comment.
 
The KOAT report said the pueblo north of Albuquerque apparently cleared out some of the Star Casino's top people, whose jobs included oversight of the casino.
 
Around the time a stud poker dealer was caught stacking the deck on surveillance video-and was convicted of federal theft charges-the pueblo conducted an internal audit of its gambling operations, KOAT reported.
 
But it said the tribe will not release its audit to the public.
The KOAT investigative team said it learned the tribe's internal auditor was locked out of her casino office after submitting evidence of financial irregularities to tribal council members.
And it said longtime tribal administrator Roy Montoya was apparently ousted-the tribe would only say Montoya doesn't work there anymore.
 
Assistant administrator Robert Ortiz also is gone, according to an unidentified "tribal insider" interviewed by KOAT. The pueblo told the station that Ortiz was on "extended leave."
 
The station also reported that Ken Paquin had been fired as the tribal administrator with oversight responsibility for the Star Casino. Paquin is currently acting as a lobbyist for Indian gambling.
 
And Star Casino's chief financial officer, Martha Urbano, is also gone, KOAT said, adding that "insiders" reported she was paid thousands of dollars to leave quietly.
 
There was no answer at tribal offices Wednesday evening, and tribal attorney Richard Hughes did not return repeated calls to his Santa Fe office Wednesday night.
 
Guy Clark, head of the New Mexico Coalition Against Gambling, said the problem of tribal secrecy is one which will continue to plague Indian gambling if it is legalized.
 
"It's obvious that there is criminal activity that the casino is covering up," Clark said.

Santa Fe New Mexican
3/20/97