Sisk Issues Statement On Criminal Charges

A statement has been released by Caleen Sisk, Chief of the Winnemum Wintu Tribe and the Democratic Candidate for the First District Assembly Seat. She faces charges for alleged false claims on her in-home support services time card. She gets paid by the state to provide care for a woman, but the D.A.’s Office says she was out of the state or out of the country during some of the times she claimed on her time card, and had friends and family work in her place during her absence. Subcontracting such work is apparently a violation of the I.H.S.S. rules. In her statement released Thursday, Sisk says the woman she cares for is a relative who lives in her tribal village. She’s in her 60’s and has Down Syndrome. Sisk says the woman was previously cared for by someone who abandoned her, and Sisk promised her that she would continue to care for her at her home, where she’s happy. Sisk has been the woman’s caregiver for 7 years and she says some of the care is reimbursed by I.H.S.S., with whose rules she says she has always complied. She adds that she was told it was alright to have others help her in providing care, and has adjusted her paperwork accordingly. Sisk says she’s confident that the charges will eventually be dropped, but she’s concerned about the timing. The charges were brought against her two days after she filed her candidacy papers for the Assembly run. She feels she is being persecuted for the way her tribe provides care to each other collectively. She says “Tribal people who live traditionally do not fit neatly into a system that prioritizes institutionalization.” Sisk points out that she is a direct descendent of those who were here long before Shasta County existed. She’s scheduled to enter a plea on August 7th.

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