Chippewa Cree Tribe elects Ken St. Marks as chair for fourth time

Ken St. Marks. Photo from Native News Project / University of Montana

Ken St. Marks has once again won election to serve as chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana.

St. Marks came out on top of a list of four candidates in the special election. But whether he will be able to serve is another question -- rivals on the tribal council have removed him from office three times but each time he came back and won the vote of the people.

Rivals have accused St. Marks of various transgressions. But he has pointed out that he has never been charged with any crimes in any court, unlike 18 others on the Rocky Boy's Reservation who have been swept up in an ongoing federal corruption probe.

St. Marks was granted whistleblower status under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because he reported wrongdoing on the reservation. A final disposition found that he was the victim of retaliation and ordered the tribe to pay $648,430.35 and to reinstate him but his rivals have refused to do so.

The rivals are now asking the 9th Circuit of Appeals to review the final disposition. A petition was filed on June 11.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security has decided to review $31.6 million in funding awarded to the tribe by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A June 9 report found that the tribe mismanaged $3.9 million to remove a clinic that was destroyed by severe storms in June 2010.

Get the Story:
St. Marks wins third special election (The Havre Daily News 7/1)
Ken St. Marks elected tribal chairman, again (AP 7/1)

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