Web posted Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scrutinized Choctaw Indian casino hires new auditor

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) — The casino resort owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says it has hired a new auditor to provide independent review of its business and finances.

Pearl River Resort and Casino has been under intense scrutiny in recent months, including an FBI raid in July. The tribe also is involved in a bitter election dispute and Moody's Investors Service downgraded the tribe's bonds to junk bond status.

Beasley Denson, the chief, said in the past there's nothing to worry about from the FBI investigation because the books were checked by an independent firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers.


PricewaterhouseCoopers is no longer the auditor. The tribe announced Wednesday in a news release that it hired BDO USA.

The release said many businesses change auditors about every three years and PricewaterhouseCoopers had been the auditor for more than 10.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman didn't immediately respond to a message.

Denson, who was first elected in 2007 and prefers the Choctaw title miko, rather than chief, led a nine-candidate field in a June 14 election.

Phyliss J. Anderson defeated Denson in a July 5 runoff election. However, the Tribal Council threw out results of the June general election for alleged voting irregularities.

The tribe did not describe the alleged voting problems, but it negated the runoff.

A new election is scheduled for Sept. 6.