The Mohegan Tribe Announces New Attorney General and Tribal General Counsel
Larry Roberts and Todd Araujo join Mohegan’s strong leadership team; long-time Attorney General Helga Woods transitions to special counsel role.
December 8, 2021 -- The Mohegan Tribe is pleased to announce Larry Roberts has been named the Tribe’s new Attorney General and Todd Araujo as its General Counsel. These appointments come after the announcement by the Tribe’s longstanding Attorney General, Helga Woods, that she would be retiring. Woods will continue to work part-time for the Tribe on legal matters.
“The Mohegan Tribe is incredibly grateful to Helga for her 15 years of dedication to the Tribe,” said James Gessner, Jr. Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. “Helga has been a fixture in representing the interests of the Mohegan Tribe, its members, government, and business enterprises. We thank her for her years of service, and we are thrilled she will be continuing her work for the Tribe in a new role.”
“While we are sad Helga is retiring, we are honored to have both Larry Roberts and Todd Araujo joining our executive team,” added Gessner. “Attorney Araujo and Attorney Roberts bring extensive experience in Tribal legal affairs, and each will play a critical role in managing the Tribe’s legal affairs as well as providing the Tribe legal advice as it relates to our business enterprises. I know they will advocate for our Tribal members and represent the Mohegan Tribe with dignity and respect.”
In his role as Attorney General, Roberts will identify legal issues and develop legal strategies to advise the Mohegan Tribe as a Tribal government. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, he has served under both President Biden and President Obama in the Department of Interior, most recently serving as Chief of Staff to Secretary Deb Haaland. Prior to that, he was a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University and was Executive Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Program. He also worked as General Counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission which is the federal commission that regulates Indian gaming. Roberts also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency on federal Indian law and environmental law in Indian Country. Roberts is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
“I am honored to serve as the Mohegan Tribe’s Attorney General and to build upon the incredible work of Helga Woods,” said Roberts. “Ensuring that the Tribe’s sovereignty is protected is my first and foremost priority. Over the course of my career, I have witnessed the leadership of the Mohegan Tribe as it relates to advancing Tribal sovereignty, Tribal self-governance, and Indian gaming, and I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the Mohegan Tribe. I am looking forward to working for the Tribal Council and the Management Board of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority in advancing the Tribe’s multifaceted goals.”
As General Counsel, Araujo will identify legal issues and develop legal strategies to advise the Tribe and its business enterprises, including the Tribe’s gaming and entertainment enterprise. A graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law with an Indian Law Certificate, Araujo has extensive professional experience in Indian law and policy having represented Indian tribes and tribal entities across the country on a wide range of complex legal matters for nearly 25 years. Araujo spent the last dozen or more years in Alaska in the active practice of law advising, litigating, and regulating private and public entities. He has represented tribal housing authorities and other tribal entities, and he has also advised several tribes with regard to gaming regulatory processes and operations. Prior to that he served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alaska, providing advice to 20 state professional licensing boards and commissions. Araujo also served in private practice in Alaska and Washington D.C. with a specialty in American Indian Law and Policy. Finally, he previously served as Deputy Director of U.S. Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice, as well as staff attorney with the National Indian Gaming Commission, focused on engaging Tribal Governments in DOJ policy matters and advising the Commission on gaming-related licenses, respectively. Araujo is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
“I am eager to begin working as the Mohegan Tribe’s General Counsel and representing the Tribe’s interests as their investments in gaming and other business enterprises continue to grow,” said Araujo. “As its business portfolio continues to diversify and the Tribe enters new markets and new initiatives, I understand how critical it will be to advise the Council and protect the interests of the Tribal Members. I am looking forward to working with our Tribal leaders and the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) leadership to ensure sustained and responsible growth in its footprint in the United States and internationally.”
Roberts and Araujo join the Mohegan Tribe’s senior executive team made up of Chuck Bunnell, Chief of Staff, Deb Maxeiner Chief of Staff of Operations & Administration, and Anthony Casdia, Chief Financial Officer who joined the Tribe from MGE in February.
Combined, Mohegan’s current senior executive team has over 120 years’ experience working for Tribal Nations.