Secret talks sunk recognition for Lumbee

Pembroke, North Carolina (AP) January 2011

A former lawyer for the Lumbee Indians says tribal leaders secretly met with gambling leaders for two years, even after a vote to keep gambling out of a recognition bill for the tribe.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that Arlinda Locklear wrote an open letter to the tribe, saying the negotiations led by former Tribal Chairman Jimmy Goins and his Tribal Administrator Leon Jacobs led to a contract with gambling consultant Lewin International in 2009.

Locklear says that deal sunk a bill to get federal recognition for the Lumbees.

Jacobs says Locklear’s accusations aren’t true and he only had the tribe’s recognition in mind.

Locklear represented the tribe for 20 years before the relationship collapsed in a dispute last winter.