January 10, 2003
| Hearing on
petition set for January 16th
January 8th, Leech Lake tribal court
chief judge Margaret Treuer scheduled the hearing of the recall
Arthur “Archie” LaRose for January 16th at
2:00 p.m. at the
courtroom at the Leech Lake facilities center. Treuer
also removed herself as the presiding judge
for medical reasons
and appointed attorney B.J. Jones of North Dakota to hear the case.
been the director of the University of North Dakota-based Northern
Judicial Training Institute for the past several years.
He has also taught Indian Law at the
University of North Dakota law school and has acted as a special tribal
judge for numerous tribes in the upper Midwest. He
is a staunch promoter of tribal courts.
tribal court hearing is to determine
whether the petition meets the requirements of the Minnesota Chippewa
constitution. Those requirements are
that signatories of a removal petition be 18 years of age, a member of
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and a resident of the Leech Lake Reservation.
informational meeting Monday, January 6th at
Paradise Room, acting tribal chairman Richard Robinson read the
and announced that the Leech Lake RBC would obey the restraining order
by Treuer on January 3. The order
cancelled the removal hearing which was scheduled for Monday, January 6th,
and required both LaRose and the petitioners to maintain the status quo.
Burton "Luke" Wilson was present, but District II representative
Lyman Losh was absent.
is asking for
the same procedures the tribe used in the removal hearing and recall of
Chairman Eli Hunt in the fall. “They
didn't give me due process,” LaRose said of the RBC’s handling of the
petition. LaRose later told Press/ON
that he brought suit so that he can have his day in court to show that
petitioners do not have enough legal signatures to recall him. “The council never gave me the opportunity
to review the petition and that’s all I’m really asking for,” he said.
Monday informational meeting, most standing around the edges of the
than taking places in the rows of chairs. After LaRose made his brief
statement, a member of the audience asked whether the next phase of the
by RSM McGladrey would continue.
want to go on with the second phase of the audit,” LaRose said.
of the audit
had uncovered misuse of tribal funds by current members of the tribal
council. The second phase of RSM
McGladrey’s forensic audit was slated to examine the finances of
departments of the Leech Lake tribal administration, including payroll.
removal was certified December 13th by a 4-3
vote of the
validation committee. The majority found 476 valid signatures, but the
disallowed 60 signatures for a total of 443 valid signatures. For the
to go forward, 451 signatures were needed.
with malfeasance in handling tribal affairs, neglect of duty, refusal
with the constitution and bylaws, violation of tribal government ethics
Leech lake budget ordinance, and misuse of the Leech Lake corporate
card, band funds and motor pool vehicles. It also charges LaRose of
and challenges the validity of the petition. He went to tribal court
suit against the tribal council, officially known as the Reservation
Committee (RBC), as well as four members of the reservation
committee appointed by the RBC to examine the petition.
“It’s time we started running our government
according to the law,” LaRose said.
is represented by attorney Randy Thompson of Nolan, MacGregor and
St. Paul. The tribal council is represented by Leech Lake tribal
Plumer and Frank Bibeau.