A welcome sign on the Colville Reservation in Washington. Photo: Jimmy Emerson

Colville Tribes announce expulsion of council member for alleged intimidation

A leader of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation has been removed from office.

The Colville Business Council (CBC) voted 8-6 on Thursday to expel Andrea George for allegedly intimidating a witness. Her removal is "effective immediately," according to a press release

"The decision was based upon the CBC’s determination that George committed improper influence, gross misconduct and malfeasance while a council member, in violation of the Colville Tribes’ Constitution and Chapter 1-8 of the Colville Tribal Code," the press release stated.

The decision came after George went before an investigative hearing on February 1. In a post on social media, she said she was treated unfairly by her fellow leaders.

"How did things get so jacked up that one man can instruct the chief of police to remove my attorney only an hour into the hearing, and not long thereafter threaten to remove me even?" George wrote after the proceeding, which she noted was closed to ordinary citizens.

A sign on the council chambers door had read "Closed to ALL" and elders who came to support George and attend the hearing were initially kept standing outside of the building on a cold day, she said, before they were eventually brought inside.

"There is so much I want to say, but for tonight, prayers for positive changes and to wrap the creator’s arms around all of those in need or hurting," George added.

But in findings released on Thursday, the council said George interfered with a hearing that took place on September 24, 2018. She "attempted to get the witness to not testify or otherwise not provide the full truth in her testimony," the document stated.

George was placed on administrative leave on February 7 after the investigatory hearing. A special session -- which was open to the public -- took place on Thursday, when the removal vote finally took place.

George joined the council last July as a representative of the Nespelem District last June. She defeated her opponent by just 9 votes in a June 28, 2018, election.

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