HCCC questions HDI transparency after $4million dollar acquisition sale goes undisclosed
OHSWEKEN — HDI says they recently came under scrutiny by members of the HCCC after neglecting to inform the Council about receiving nearly $4million dollars from the sale of a windmill partnership they are engaged in.
According to the HDI’s June/July report to the HCCC, prepared by Director Hazel Hill — HDI was notified their holdings in a partnership for the Great Grand Valley 2 had received a payout of $4,071,777.21 as a result of the project being refinanced.
The report says HCCC maintains its ownership in the project.
Two members of the HCCC who were attending a finance committee meeting on May 31 — Chief Arnold Hill and Mary Sandy — were sent on behalf of HCCC to a meeting in Burlington to discuss the payout, the report says.
Hill goes on to personally apologize in the report, saying members of the HCCC were upset HDI did not disclose the details of the payout to the whole council during the June 3rd HCCC meeting.
“It has been alleged that HDI only works with certain Chiefs & Clanmothers. This is simply not true. All of the Chiefs and Clanmothers are notified of meetings, by email, phone call or in person if necessary. We work with whoever shows up.”
HDI was also criticized for not bringing this information to our June 3rd council. HDI Director Hazel Hill and Financial Director Rick Saul discussed the payment and determined that it would be best to wait until the July report in hopes of having more information about the disbursement, therefore we did not make the information public. I am uncertain as to how it became a topic of discussion at council or why Chief Arnold Hill was put in a position of defending the decision. I apologize to Chief Hill, the Oneida Nation and to the Chiefs Council as this was never our intent. With transparency also comes responsibility and we continue to strive to provide as much detail as possible in the short time we are given to report,” Hill wrote.
HDI goes on to share in it’s report that nearly $2.6 million of that payout was used to pay off the corporation’s debt.
Other details in the report, which is archived on HCCC’s website goes on to disclose the financial statements for the corporate body HCCC does business with, details surrounding the HCCC’s pending battles with Enbridge and a request to use funds to build an administration building.
One shocking revelation in the report shows auditors tabulated the HCCC is responsible for $14,513.22 in municipal taxes on lands they own in Brant and Norfolk County beyond the borders of the Six Nations reserve.
Hill writes to date the HCCC has not paid municipal taxes and has submitted requests to those municipalities to make arrangements on any outstanding amounts.