By Tim Eberly
A Chippewa Cree tribal council member was arrested Monday evening on an outstanding Justice Court warrant during a traffic stop by the Montana Highway Patrol.
Officer Steve Baiamonte pulled over Jonathan Windy Boy for speeding. Windy Boy was taken to the Hill County Detention Center on a warrant for a misdemeanor charge of truancy, Windy Boy said.
Hill County Attorney David Rice dropped the charge today because Windy Boy's 16-year-old daughter is past the age of mandatory attendance.
When children are under the age of 16 and do not attend school, their parents can be charged with truancy for not getting them to class, Rice said.
The complaint against Windy Boy was filed by a Havre High truancy officer on April 10, while his daughter was enrolled at the school and had not attended her classes for a while, Rice said. Three summonses were sent to him with no response before an arrest warrant was issued in June. The maximum fine for truancy is $20.
Windy Boy's daughter has been enrolled in a home-schooling program through Box Elder High School for almost a year, Windy Boy said. He told Rice he is making a concerted effort to get her caught up in her studies.
He said he has been out of town often on tribal business and was not aware that the summonses had been sent to him or that a warrant had been issued.
"Because of my hectic schedule, there are some things in my personal life that I have overlooked," said Windy Boy, who spends approximately two weeks of every month on the road. "I'm a human being. I have faults. But I have also picked up those pieces."
Windy Boy is a Democratic candidate for the state House in House District 92.