Winnemum Chief Ordered To Pay Restitution In Fraud Case

A state fraud case involving the Chief of the Winnemum Wintu Tribe has been settled. Caleen Sisk has been ordered to pay around $13,000 in restitution after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge. She originally faced 7 felonies. Fraud charges were filed in 2018 against Sisk two days after she announced her candidacy for State Assembly. Sisk was receiving money from the State IHSS Program for care she was providing a 60-year-old relative with Down Syndrome. The charges alleged that other members of the tribe cared for the woman during some of the hours claimed on Sisk’s timecard when she was actually out of the state or out of the country. 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. In 2018 Sisk said “Tribal people who live traditionally do not fit neatly into a system that prioritizes institutionalization.”