Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Exonerates Chairman, Censures Secretary Treasurer
there were tense moments during the meeting when the results came out
MAHNOMEN, Minn. — People started yelling profane things to members of the White Earth Reservation executive committee at a meeting.
They were up in arms over the exoneration of the committee’s chairman Terry Tibbetts and the censure of its secretary-treasurer Tara Mason.
“It got a little feisty. People that are siding with her weren’t very happy so you know there’s some yelling and screaming and finger pointing and things like that,” said Gary Padrta, White Earth Nation’s public information officer.
Tibbetts was exonerated by a vote of 8-1 and Mason was censured in a 5-4 vote.
The two originally filed charges against each other, something some say they haven’t seen happen in their entire time at White Earth.
“I know just for me, I’ve been here almost 19 years and it’s never happened for White Earth,” Padrta said.
Mason accused Tibbetts of not handling tribal affairs correctly, neglect of his duties and violating the laws of the Constitution or laws of the tribe.
Tibbetts accused her of violating the Constitution or laws of the Tribe as well.
“So now for Terry the process ends. It’s over. And for Tara, then the meeting comes back to White Earth again,” Padtra said.
Mason doesn’t lose any of her rights on the committee for being censured.
“She made a motion to adjourn. That’s it! Bye. We’re done,” a member of the committee said.
The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe will send an official letter of their decision to the White Earth Reservation Business Committee.
The Reservation Business Committee within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the notice or charges shall in writing notify the accused of the charges brought against him and set a date for a hearing. If the Reservation Business Committee deems the accused has failed to answer charges to its satisfaction or fails to appear at the appointed time, the Reservation Business Committee may remove as provided in Section 2 or it may schedule a recall election which shall be held within thirty (30) days after the date set for the hearing. In either event, the action of the Reservation Business Committee or the outcome of the recall election shall be final.