Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter filed a lawsuit in the Seneca court system Friday, demanding information about the finances of a charity run by presidential candidate Barry Snyder Sr.
The lawsuit seeks information about the Seneca Diabetes Foundation and what has been done with $5.5 million the organization has raised, Porter said.
Porter said he and several other Seneca Nation officials have “formed a good faith belief” that people running the diabetes foundation “may have engaged in fraud, or, at the very least, the dissipation of significant assets to the detriment of the Seneca people.”
Snyder, who is running for president against a Porter ally, Tribal Council Chairman Richard E. Nephew, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in connection with the foundation. Snyder has accused Porter and Nephew of attacking the foundation for political reasons.
According to Snyder, the foundation in the past seven years has been used to fund a wide range of health services that benefit the Seneca people, including a $1.5 million endowment to Women & Children’s Hospital.
Porter said “preliminary estimates” indicate that less than 11 percent of the money raised by the foundation have been distributed to the Seneca Nation for health-related services.