Havre Daily News - News you can use

 
 

By Tim Leeds 

Tadios claims she's not a citizen

Says feds can’t prosecute her; judge to rule soon

 

April 15, 2014



After a hearing in federal court in Great Falls Monday in the case alleging embezzlement by former Rocky Boy clinic director Fawn Tadios, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said an order on the motions would be forthcoming. He set Tadios’ trial date for May 1.

Tadios is accused of embezzling federal money while working as the CEO of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Health Board, including using money appropriated for the clinic at Rocky Boy to visit her husband in federal prison camp while he was serving a sentence for embezzling from the tribe.

Raymond “Jake” Parker pleaded guilty in 2011 to using a tribal credit card for his own personal expenses while chair of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Business Committee.

Tadios complains in briefs she filed that she is being forced to represent herself against her will.

“I believe the court placed me at prejudice in this case … ,” she wrote in a brief filed April 10. “I chose to represent myself not because I feel that I am qualified and would be a better representative than a court appointed attorney, but because I have had three attorneys appointed to this case that have been negligent and the only way for me to protect myself is to hold them accountable. … Therefore, I reserve all rights and enter this response for the record under duress.”

A court document lists four terminated attorneys.

Morris ruled in favor of the prosecution March 17 that unless Tadios, who fired her four court-appointed attorneys, agreed to not file complaints or try to disqualify her court-appointed attorneys, it would not appoint a new attorney.

The hearing Monday included arguments on a motion by Tadios requesting details of the charges against her.

In the motion, Tadios writes that she is a member of Indian tribes — “expressly not a citizen of the United States” — and that she does not know the “particulars” of the case against her, including “the jurisdiction of the United States to tread upon the sovereignty of the Chippewa-Cree (sic) Tribes in their investigation and arrest of the defendant on Rocky Boy’s Reservation (sic).”

Tadios writes that the indictment “is vague, indefinite, uncertain, and insufficient in its terms and conclusions.”

In its response, the prosecution — which also requested the court to review Tadios’ eligibility for court-appointed attorneys — said that argument that she does not have enough details is “ludicrous.”

The brief quotes the indictment, alleging that she embezzled, stole and obtained by fraud travel advancements and reimbursements. The advabcenebts came between Dec. 15, 2011 and Sept. 17, 2012, for official travel when she was using the money entirely or primarily for the purpose of visiting her husband in federal prison camp at Yankton, S.D.

“What about this accusation is unclear?” the brief asks.

“There is a difference between a defendant who cannot understand the charges and a defendant who refuses to acknowledge them,” the prosecution brief says in its conclusion. “Tadios is clearly a member of the second class of defendant.”

In her response, Tadios writes that she received the money with the permission of tribal council member John “Chance” Houle and she is not aware that she violated any laws of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, saying that “is the body of law that I am obligated to while conducting business on the reservation.”

In its motion to review eligibility for court-appointed counsel, the prosecution notes that Tadios affidavit of eligibility “was taken at face value and never seriously scrutinized.”

“The United States has every reason to believe that Tadios is capable of engaging counsel of her own choice,” the brief says.

Tadios owns two homes, one in Rocky Boy and one in Aberdeen, Wash ., where her mother lives, the brief says, and she worked as director of the health board for several years at an annual salary of $115,000, it notes.

She told law enforcement she made payments on the Aberdeen home and on a vehicle used by her daughter as well as other payments, the brief says.

“This does not appear to be a state of financial affairs that would meet any meaningful standard for indigence,” the brief says.

In her reply brief, she says her Rocky Boy home does not have a market value as it was transferred to the reservation from “Maelstrom” (sic) Air Base in Great Falls and is owned by the federal government, and she and her husband were told they are in a “rent to own” home but do not own it.

After she lost her job with the Health Board, Tadios writes, she could not pay for the Aberdeen home and her mother is making payments, and it has fallen into disrepair.

She wrote that two vehicles are registered in her name but has no use of them, a 2008 Jeep Liberty she bought for her daughter in 2010 and a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro she bought for her son in 2011.

 

Reader Comments

(11)

FrankieH writes:

EAGELEEYE: Are you a sample of the youngsters you are urging to take over leadership of the tribe? If you are..I suggest you return to school. Please educate yourself. Your post is embarrassing.

whatruthinkin writes:

Not a US citizen. What a joke. hahah. US citizen or not stealing from the US government, and your tribe is a crime! She's lucky to be a us citizen, the punishment in other countrys is much worse. Lock her up and throw away the key. Where are her morals? I hope all these crooks are locked up for a long time. I don't know about you, but I work hard for my money.

EagleEYE writes:

Time to start floating these crooks off tha Rez for good. We need some honest youngsers to take over the leadership, or the current curupt ones are going to brake the tribe economicly!

FrankieH writes:

IKNOWMORETHANYOU: Are you serious? Jake is a convicted thief and Fawn is an indicted thief. Yet you have the temerity to say that they are good people. Your attitude is the reason that the criminal activities are allowed to thrive on the reservation.

Iknowmorethanu writes:

I know both the defendant and her husband. She was at her position well before he was elected chairman. They are both good people, and I have heard from numerous tribe members Chance Houle was behind a lot of the embezzling Mr. Parker took the fall for. Probably not a coincidence that he is involved with this either. The problem is way beyond anything people will ever know. Good luck Fawn, you deserve your day in court.

moneytalks writes:

She should ask her husband!!!!!!!!!!! Even after doing prison time for theft, Jake Parker is back working for the people he stole from. That should be proof enough of complicity by all past and present members of the business committee. $35 per hour no less!!!!!!! If people are too intimidated to say anything, this madness will continue. Time to say ENOUGH!!!!

Richy writes:

Prime example of greed and rez politics. Like 300 dollars for the common folk, 30K for the royalty. Take the Senior Center, non-enrolled in-laws of T3 working while enrolled members are in dire straits, unemployed, some heading out to ND. Old cronies being hired on, by passing young people with families. Disgraceful. Well at least some of the directors hand picked by these jokers are no longer in the position to embezzle.

frankieH writes:

It is of no concern who lives in the house or who drives the cars. Fawn.....You are not aware that you broke any law of the tribe..is it your understanding that stealing is not against the law in Rocky boy? It may seem that way because we are surrounded by thieves but IT IS AGAINST THE LAW.

funnystuff writes:

Is she going the Sammy Sosa route??? No habla. She might need to hire an interpreter as well for more theatre. haha

frankieh writes:

We want our money back too Fawn. As a member of the tribe she worked for me and stole my money.

saddimwa writes:

I feel sad for this lady and all that happened to her. she marries a tribal chairman who promptly hires her as CEO over every member of his own tribe so both can make in excess of 100g a year. then they get a second two story home from the tribe because they can't afford to buy their own. a Camaro and a jeep for her kids while tribal members kids might get a bike for grad. it is easy to see how at 200g a year they couldn't save or plan. poor thing, we outta start up a collection.