Choctaw Chief "Miko" Beasley Denson Talks - - Jackson, MS

Choctaw Chief "Miko" Beasley Denson Talks

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Facing an upcoming election for his job, an FBI investigation, and most recently Price Waterhouse Coopers quitting as outside auditors for tribe casinos, Chief "Miko" Beasley Denson has a lot on his hands. In an exclusive interview Thursday, the Chief says after 35 years of working in politics he is up to the challenges.

We met with Chief "Miko" Beasley Denson at his office in Philadelphia. He is actively campaigning for his re-election. Reminding voters when he took office four years ago there was about $483 million dollars in debt. While in office, he says the debt has been reduced to about $72 million. He also cites his record on education.

"Anybody who wants to go to college currently can attend college at our expense which at the time when I was going to school I got a PELL grant as well as a loan and it took me 10 years to pay my education off," said Chief Denson.

A week after the election where Phyliss Anderson became the first woman elected July 8, the tribal council ordered a new election. By July 12, FBI agents raided the casinos on the reservation as part of an ongoing investigation. Denson says they are fully cooperating, but he does not know what the FBI is looking for.

"You're not concerned about that investigation? I am concerned you know, but I don't think that we're at liberty to talk about it and certainly we're not at liberty to go in and find out what they're looking for," Chief Denson said.

This month, Price Waterhouse Coopers quit as the outside auditor for the casinos run by the Choctaw Indians. We have been told steps were already in place to hire new auditors due to problems with the company.

"Did you have problems with Price Waterhouse? I have no comment on that", said Denson.

Chief Denson also responded to criticism that he tried to do too much too soon in expanding operations.

"One of the things that we must realize is any attack on me is an attack on the Tribe that's the way I feel because I represent the Tribe", Denson said.

Chief Denson has sent letters to the other two candidates in the race for Chief, Phyliss Anderson as well as Shirley Berg, inviting them to a debate. They have until Monday to respond.

The election is coming up September 6.

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