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By Tim Leeds 

Small sworn in as new Rocky Boy council member

 


After a failed court protest and a contested first round in a special election, Stacey Small was scheduled to be sworn in this morning as the newest member of Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation's tribal council, the Chippewa Cree Tribe's Business Committee.

In a Sept. 27 re-vote of a special election, Small was the top vote-getter of 13 candidates with 352 votes.

The second-runner, Donovan Stump, who successfully protested the results of the Aug. 18 special election, received 239 votes.

The election was held to fill the space left open when Bruce Sunchild Sr. won a special election in July to take the chair of the council. That space was left empty when Raymond "Jake" Parker Jr. resigned one day prior to pleading guilty in federal court to embezzling tribal funds. Parker had used a credit card issued to the tribe for personal charges.

Parker was sentenced last month to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay $58,938.23 in restitution.

Small narrowly won the August special election, with with 157 votes to Stump's 144. The third-place candidate, Tim Koop Sr., received 114 votes.

In the September election, Misty "Brooks" Denny came in third with 74 votes, Harriet Standing Rock had 68 votes, while Koop dropped to fifth with 59 votes.

Louis S. "Luke" Parisian took 28 votes, Wade Colliflower took 19, Luanne Belcourt 17, Gilberta Belgarde 14, Jesse W. Henderson 10, Kenny Writing Bird 7, Donald "Goodvoice" Meyers 4, and Samuel "Sammy" Camper took 3 votes.

The elections took place on the heels of a judicial ruling against Small's protest of a 2010 election.

Small protested the results of the 2010 primary election, with a complaint that a candidate had not been properly screened by the election committee because that candidate had been convicted of a felony within five years of the election, which under Rocky Boy's code made him ineligible.

One of the candidates had been convicted, but the conviction was struck from his record after he served a deferred imposition of sentence.

The election board denied Small's protest, and he appealed to the tribal courts.

After the judge dismissed the complaint without holding a hearing, Small appealed that decision.

Tribal Appellate Judge Torian Donahoe in May sent the complaint back to the courts, saying the decision included multiple errors and procedural problems and Small had to be offered a hearing to make his case.

Rocky Boy brought in Special Judge Thomas Weathers to hear the complaint. He ruled in July that the tribal officials and the election board were protected from the lawsuit due to the Chippewa Cree Tribe's sovereign immunity.

 

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