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North Dakota tribe may ban felons from office

Results are still coming in from a primary election on the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Reservation in North Dakota, where voters were asked to approve an amendment barring convicted felons from holding public office.

Councilman Les LaFountain said he sought the constitutional amendment out of concern for the number of former officials convicted or indicted of crimes. Most of the crimes involved stealing from the tribe.

But Ron Peltier, a candidate for chairman, says the amendment unfairly singles him out. In 1981, he pleaded guilty to misapplication of tribal funds of $100 or less, which is a misdemeanor.

Peltier currently has the most votes but could be disqualified if the amendment is approved.

Get the Story:
TURTLE MOUNTAIN BAND OF CHIPPEWA: Amendment muddies tribal election (The Grand Forks Herald 10/22)

Relevant Links:
Turtle Mountain Chippewa -

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Tribe's former judge sentenced for embezzling (03/10)
Former N.D. tribal officials sentenced to prison (3/5)
Jury convicts former Ojibwe chairman (10/24)
N.D. tribal law against felons upheld (10/18)
Opinion: Don't let felons run the tribe (10/10)
Editorial: Reform troubled tribal government (08/21)
N.D. tribal officials indicted (08/07)