Media Statement from Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Chairman Gordon Thayer
Monday, September 17 2012
Written by The Circle Staff,
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HAYWARD, WI- Recently, several media stories gave the impression that Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) was going bankrupt. This is misleading and far from the real story. The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe has launched a financial efficiency initiative that will result in expense reductions and revenue enhancement promotions to improve the financial position of the tribe. When the tribe is financially efficient the LCO Tribal Government is able to best serve the needs of LCO members. That is our top priority.
Just as many businesses and municipal governments across the country have been affected by the lingering economic downturn in the United States, the LCO tribe has been similarly impacted. And, unfortunately, like the U.S. Congress, past tribal governments have sometimes spent more money than they have taken in. Unlike the United States Congress, this LCO Tribal Governing Board is being proactive by taking action to correct the problem and to balance our budget so we can best serve the needs of our members.
Continuing on a path of spending more money than what is taken in is unwise for the U.S. Congress, any business, households and tribal governments. Long periods of overspending is a sure path to bankruptcy for any government.
Recently the LCO Tribal Government issued a letter to our members which was reported on by the media. Unfortunately, that letter was misinterpreted by some in local media. Stories were written and reported on the airwaves that LCO was going bankrupt. Nothing could be further from the truth. LCO is not bankrupt or filing for bankruptcy. LCO is financially solvent. LCO has never missed any payments on its bank loans or bond financing. The steps being taken today by LCO Tribal leadership in implementing expense reduction initiatives is to assure that our excellent track record of timely payments on our bank loan and bond financing continues.
Recently LCO has received a $8.29 million cash payment from the federal government in settlement of a lawsuit the LCO Tribe filed against the federal government for misuse of the Tribe's funds held in trust by the U.S. Government. The funds will be utilized primarily for debt reduction as part of our expense reduction initiative. Our goal is to be as financially efficient as we can possibly be, so we can best serve the needs of our tribal members in the short and long-term. With the continued support of our members, the future is bright for Lac Courte Oreilles.
As a Tribal leader, I am confident our financial efficiency initiative will be successful.

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