YAKIMA — Two former Yakama Nation officials say they were fired for questioning how the tribe spends state and federal funds on social programs and whether some of the money was unfairly benefitting employees and their family members.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported that Robert Ramirez, the tribe’s former deputy director who oversaw social services, documented a pattern of favoritism over many years in which people working in a program designed to serve children in foster care awarded themselves and family members state-provided dollars.
He says payments averaged about $200 apiece but often went higher and occurred more than once a year
A tribal leader said the tribe investigated the complaints but found nothing amiss.
But the state Department of Social and Health Services says an investigation has been launched.