A woman accused of embezzling money from the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation health care system to pay for trips to visit her husband while he was serving a sentence for embezzling from Rocky Boy can get an attorney — with a price.
Fawn Tadios, former CEO of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Health Board and its clinic, had fired four attorneys and was representing herself in the trial which had been scheduled for May 1. Tadios, in a hearing March 17 in U.S. District Court in Great Falls, refused to agree to not file complaints against her attorney if the court had appointed one for her.
The prosecution then filed a request to review her financial situation, saying her affidavit requesting a court-appointed attorney had never been reviewed.
That request and other motions were reviewed in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris Monday.
Morris issued an order Wednesday appointing counsel, but required Tadios to pay $500 a month, and issued an order Thursday resetting the trial for June 25.
In the Wednesday order, Morris wrote that Tadios showed she lacks the finances to retain counsel entirely on her own.
He noted, however, that evidence showed she earned more than $100,000 in 2012. He overruled Tadios’ objection during Monday’s hearing about the prosecution presenting 2012 tax returns to document her income. He wrote that Tadios conceded in the hearing that she had that income until the government indicted her in June 2013.
Morris wrote in his order that income more than her expenses still is available to Tadios, primarily through her husband’s wages.
Her husband, Raymond “Jake” Parker, resigned as chair of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Business Committee May 23, 2011, one day before pleading guilty in federal court in Great Falls to embezzling nearly $60,000 from the tribe.
The charges against Tadios allege that she embezzled money by receiving travel advancements and reimbursements 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.
The document does not say in what job Parker currently is working.
The order also says if investigation shows Tadios has access to more assets than disclosed so far, she will be required to pay all or part of the money spent by the government for her defense.
Judge Morris also ruled against Tadios’ motion that the government provide her with a bill of particulars detailing what charges were filed against her.