There have been several complaints that there is no regular formal communication between the OCEN Tribal Council and the Tribal Membership. No one would disagree with these complaints but most of the tribe is unaware of the things that have happened since the court mandated tribal election. It has not been easy nor has it been constitutional. If you want to be truly informed, please read the following:

As many know, the group known as the “Thielman faction” had valid complaints against the ex-Chair, Rudy Rosales (including a physical altercation between Rudy Rosales and Phil Greene, Jr.) but did not avail itself of remedies as provided in the tribal government documents, thereby provoking the remaining OCEN Council body to bring a civil lawsuit against the faction for their acts of libel. Despite the civil court mandated special election, in September 2005, the dispute was not resolved as evidenced by lack of support and the continuing hostilities within the tribal council arena and the divided tribal families. And now history is repeating itself:[1]

1)                  September 2005 – Elected Councilwoman Rosemarie Miranda did not attend the September meeting,

2)                  October 2005 – Elected Council members - Anthony Gomez and Theresa Machado Piñon – did not attend the regular tribal council meeting,

3)                  November 2005 – Elected Councilman Anthony Gomez did not attend the regular tribal council meeting,

4)                  November 2005 – Steven Fernandez resigned from the elected position in the OCEN Non-Profit;

5)                  December 2005 – Elected Council members – Rosemarie Miranda, Anthony Gomez, Rich Rodriguez, Al Rodriguez, Theresa Machado-Piñon did not attend the regularly scheduled council meeting preventing a quorum from being established,

6)                  January 2006 – Rosemarie Miranda resigned citing arguments and disagreements,

7)                  February 2006 – No regularly scheduled tribal council meeting was held due to council absenteeism,

8)                  February 2006 – Theresa Machado Piñon resigned citing unruly behavior,

9)                  March 2006 – No meeting was held due to council absenteeism. Further, Rudy Rosales unlawfully used tribal letterhead which named himself as Chair,

10)              April 2006 – Elected Council members – Rich Rodriguez and Pam Tanous – did not attend the regularly scheduled tribal council meeting (Rich gave no proxy and Pam’s family was in the hospital emergency room),

11)              May 2006 – the regularly scheduled tribal council meeting was cancelled due to council absenteeism,

12)              May 2006 – No meeting was held because of council absenteeism. Rudy Rosales announced his intent to resign from the OCEN Non-Profit,

13)              June 2006 – OCEN Council granted elected Councilman Anthony Gomez a four-month leave of absence and appointed Joe Kavanagh in his place; also the council appointed Lorraine Escobar as Interim Council Member (within two weeks, a newsletter was created and delivered); Council Members – Janette Ritter, Gloria Ritter, Al Rodriguez, Rich Rodriguez, and Anthony Gomez did not attend the regularly scheduled council meeting,

14)              July 2006 – the OCEN Council meeting was cancelled because it was not deemed acceptable for one person to have a majority vote in all matters (Janette Ritter claimed she had three proxy votes (including one for Anthony Gomez) in addition to her own vote); Elected Council members – Gloria Ritter, Al Rodriguez, and Rich Rodriguez did not attend (Anthony Gomez was on a granted leave of absence)); Janette Ritter had Rudy Rosales’ letter of resignation but did not turn it over,

15)              July 2006 – Rudy Rosales verbally attacked Susan Morley in the parking lot at CSUMB, which resulted in losing our meeting place at CSUMB,

16)              August 7, 2006 – Cari Herthel resigned citing council absenteeism and lack of participation,

17)              August 8, 2006 – Susan Morley, OCEN Tribal Administrator, resigned,

18)              September 11– After Janette failed to have a meeting, Janette Ritter and Gloria Ritter resigned citing dysfunction;

19)              September 12 – Upon learning of the resignation of the Vice-Chair and the Treasurer, former Chair Cari Herthel withdrew her letter of resignation to restore order to the council process, requested the key from Janette Ritter (which she never turned over),

20)              September 19 – Janette Ritter challenged Cari’s obligation to conduct business on behalf of the tribe; Lorraine Escobar specifically asked Janette Ritter if she intended to withdraw her letter or resignation,

21)              September 25 - Citing “hostile conversation” and a “movement to question my actions and put the tribe in more hostile conversations and attacks,” Cari Herthel resigned again,

22)              September 27 – having no authority to do so, Rudy Rosales announced that a meeting had already been set up at the Mediation Center for October 8, 2006, and withdrew his resignation from the OCEN Non-Profit,

23)              October 2 – Remaining OCEN Council Officer – Pam Tanous – properly took over meeting arrangements and an e-mail notice was copied to OCEN Tribal Council and the Mediation Center,

24)              October 2 – Janette Ritter consulted the OCEN Tribal Council for instructions regarding a meeting at the Mediation Center for October 8, 2006,

25)              October 4 – Louise Ramirez’ wrote to a few tribal members, “Just to let you know that things in the tribe are being worked on, as usual only time will make a difference.  Hopefully the resignations are finished and there will be more news for all of us.” (This private dialogue did not include all council members. This e-mail was piggy-backed on Rudy Rosales e-mail dated September 27, 2006.),

26)              October 7 – Janette Ritter asked the OCEN Tribal council for “confirmation” of the October 8 council meeting place; Council Secretary Pam Tanous informed the council that no confirmation had taken place and that the meeting was officially cancelled, and arrangements would be confirmed for November,

27)              October 7 – Janette Ritter did not formally withdraw her letter of resignation nor did she notify the rest of the council she intended to so do. Despite the fact she did not have any authority to do so, she announced she was going to conduct a meeting on October 8th, at the Mediation Center,

28)              October 8 – Having no authority to do so, Janette Ritter conducted an unlawful meeting at the Mediation Center; the result of their meeting was appointing Louise Ramirez as Acting Chair (the candidate who received the least amount of votes during the special election), and dismiss Lorraine Escobar as a Interim Council Member with no notice or cause; Further, Rudy Rosales and Rosemarie Miranda are now being copied on the new faction’s e-mail,

29)              October 11 – Louise Ramirez wrote to Leonard Han (CSUMB) completely disregarding Cari Herthel’s individual right to pursue business based on her heritage; Leonard Han forwarded this same e-mail to Cari Herthel,

30)              October 17 – Louise Ramirez denied having sent any e-mail about Cari Herthel even though the e-mail was copied to tribal members, including Janette Ritter, Al Rodriguez, Rosemarie Miranda, and Rudy Rosales, on October 11.

31)              October 17 – In protest, Pam Tanous resigned as Council Secretary,

32)              October 17 – Janette Ritter denied being consulted on this e-mail, “For the record, I did not have prior knowledge that this e-mail was going to be sent.

33)              October 18 – Citing a need for self-protection against any liability that has been, and may yet be, incurred from the actions of Janette Ritter, Rudy Rosales, Al Rodriguez, and Louise Ramirez, AND in protest of the underhanded back-door politics in which they have engaged, Lorraine Escobar resigned as OCEN Interim Tribal Council Member.


[1] November 2005 headline, “Election fails to resolve Esselen Nation dispute.”