Anthony Pico

WAS IT FRAUD? EXPERTS RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS AFTER LOW FIRST-YEAR ENERGY PRODUCTION AT OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT

 

Elected officials suppressed key report, failed to halt project or recover taxpayer dollars

“It was heartbreaking to see this project desecrate such a historically and culturally significant landscape, and it’s even worse when you find out that it was built on false claims by the developer, and with the assistance of the BLM. "-- Anthony Pico, Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

An East County Magazine special investigation

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (Ocotillo) – An international wind energy expert has concluded that Pattern Energy appears to have defrauded the federal government in order to obtain lucrative tax subsidies for a wind energy development in southern California that has failed to live up to the developer’s claims.

“I believe we have a clear case for the False Claims Act,” Nicolas Boccard told East County Magazine, after reviewing full first-year wind production data for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility on U..S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land.  The project produced only about half of the energy that Pattern claimed it would produce—far below levels deemed viable for a wind project, a second expert confirms. 

These dismal results are no surprise to Boccard, who predicted in a report written before construction of the project was  completed that Ocotillo lacks sufficient wind speeds to sustain a viable wind energy project.

So were Pattern's lofty wind speed claims nothing more than spin?

SHOPPING FOR SMILES: VIEJAS FIREFIGHTERS ROLL OUT BIKES FOR NEEDY KIDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2012 (La Mesa) – Viejas firefighters, clad in uniforms, Santa hats and reindeer antlers, rolled into action at Target in Grossmont Center today to stock up on toys for needy local children.  More than 80 Viejas tribal government staffers donated funds to purchase 30  bicycles. 

“We’re here because we want to bring a little bit of joy to some kids who may need that,” Viejas Tribal Chairman Anthony Pico told ECM.  “We know what it’s like to be poverty stricken and perhaps to have Christmas with no gift.  It means so much more when you know where you’ve come from and where you’re going.”  He smiled, adding with a Santa-like twinkle in his eye, “These are some of the most fun times of the year.”

VIEJAS HOTEL CELEBRATES FINAL STAGES WITH TOPPING OFF CEREMONY

by Ariele Johannson 

November 20, 2012  (Alpine) --Viejas tribal leaders, casino executives, civic and community leaders, and guests came together for an outdoor Topping Off Ceremony on Wednesday, November 13, 2012. More than 100 people assembled in front of the new five-story Viejas Hotel, amid the noise of hammers, drills, and construction workers’ shouts.

This month, the much-anticipated Viejas Hotel enters its final construction stages. The non-smoking Viejas Hotel with valet parking is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013. Viejas Casino, owned by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, is one of the most successful tribal casinos in California. 

ANTHONY PICO, SWORN IN AS NEW VIEJAS LEADER, PLEDGES NATION-BUILDING

 

February 11, 2011 (Alpine) – “What’s my vision? Two words: nation building,” Anthony Pico, chairman of the Viejas band of Kumeyaay Indians, told tribal members and guests at a swearing-in ceremony yesterday for newly elected tribal council members. View a video of Chairman Pico speaking on his vision of nation building.
 

Two weeks ago, the Viejas tribal council unanimously approved the nation-building concept. In late February, council leaders will meet with representatives from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government to begin dialogue and create a two-day workshop on defining nation-building, Pico revealed.

VETERANS HERALDED AS ALPINE WALL OF HONOR BREAKS GROUND

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2011 (Alpine) -- Elected officials, tribal leaders, community members and veterans turned out this morning at a “Labor of Love” event to break ground for Alpine’s Wall of Honor.

Viejas tribal chairman Anthony Pico spoke movingly about his own military service in the Army and his memories of visiting the Viet Nam memorial in Washington D.C., where 13 of his friends’ names are inscribed. “For every friend who has fallen, there is someone who will remember them,” he said, expressing sorrow that his fallen comrades could not live into the autumn of their lives but instead, sacrificed their futures for our country. “They stayed forever young in my mind,” he said.

ANTHONY PICO REGAINS LEADERSHIP AT VIEJAS


New tribal council also elected

December 21, 2010 (Alpine)—Anthony Pico has been elected chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, replacing Bobby Barrett, who served five terms and chose not to run for reelection. Pico previously served as chairman for three terms and vice chairman for two terms, a total of more than two decades of leadership.

 

“Under his stewardship and vision, the Viejas Band achieved national and state recognition for its economic and social progress,” California Indian Education’s website states. During his prior tenure as Chairman, Viejas proved a leader in promoting inter-tribal business ventures as well as economic development for the tribe locally.