Law | Politics

Blackfeet Nation council member heads to trial on November 7

Montana Sen. Shannon Augare (D). Photo Montana Legislature

Shannon Augare, an indicted council member for the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, is due for trial in a drunken driving incident on November 7.

Augare, who also serves as a state senator, was indicted in federal court on charges of drunken driving, obstructing a peace officer and reckless driving. He allegedly drove away from a county officer after being stopped on the reservation.

Augare disputed the federal government's jurisdiction but a judge refused to dismiss the case. Meanwhile, he voluntarily stepped down from a state legislative committee that deals with law and justice issues.

He's also facing pressure to step down from the tribal council. But he said he won't quit unless there's an official proceeding and vote against him.

“I think the tribe has suffered enough. With all the turmoil we’re going through we stand to lose a lot. As chairman I do have the authority to stand up and say enough is enough," Chairman Willie Sharp Jr., who asked Augare to resign, told the Associated Press.

Montana Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso (D) hasn't asked Augare to resign but he said he might change his position if the case drags on.

Get the Story:
Senate leader says no additional action on Augare for now (The Great Falls Tribune 10/16)

Related Stories:
Indicted Blackfeet Nation council member won't quit position (10/15)
Judge allows prosecution of Blackfeet official in federal court (10/2)
Blackfeet leader under indictment called for arrest of protesters (9/5)
Blackfeet Nation chair questions council member's prosecution (9/3)
Indian lawmaker seeks dismissal of charges in federal court (08/21)
Shannon Augare pleads not guilty to drunken driving charges (8/17)

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