Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

St. Marks wins way back to Rocky Boy council

Voters give ousted chair 12-point victory


The voters on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation have spoken and contradicted an action of their tribal council.

In a special election to fill the vacant chair of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Business Committee, Ken Blatt St. Marks — whom the council unanimously removed from office March 25 — received 453 votes, 40.6 percent of the 1,116 cast.

Richard “Ricky” Morsette, whom the council appointed interim chair after he voted with the other members to remove St. Marks, received 345 votes, 28.2 percent.

State Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, a former council member and vice chair, received 192 votes. Bert Corcoran received 32 votes and Luanne Belcourt received 16.

St. Marks could not be reached for comment this morning.

The election came after a tumultous process of removing St. Marks then holding the election. That included the election board first approving St. Marks as a candidate, then disqualifying him after a protest was filed, with the board, citing a 1966 ordinance preventing people removed from office for neglect of duty from running within two years.

He was put back on the ballot again, then taken off again. In the last process, Chief Judge Donna Running Wolf said the 1966 ordinance was unconstitutional because it never was brought to the voters for approval.

The Business Committee said in a release after it removed St. Marks from office March 25 that it was due to gross misconduct and negligence, including employee harassment.

Fawn Tadios, CEO of the Rocky Boy Health Committee, successfully asked for a protection order against St. Marks, saying he harassed her including yelling at her, making inappropriate jokes and comments, and attempting to touch her inappropriately.

St. Marks has maintained that his removal was due to his investigating what he calls misuse of federal money and other problems at the reservation, including cooperating with federal investigators.

After his removal from office, the federal government in two separate cases indicted several tribal officials, including council member John “Chance” Houle, who voted to remove St. Marks, and others who are not members of the tribe, on charges of embezzlement.

Tadios is another tribal official indicted.

All of the people indicted have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial on the charges.


Reader Comments

hndz writes:

After four months of Rickey Mouse Club mayhem, please join in song and cheer.... Now it's time to say goodbye To all our company R I C, See you real soon K E Y, Why? Because we like you M O U S E.

Joe writes:

Why is it that the HDN didn't run the story about the IRS filing a $150,000 lien on Jonathan Windyboy? The Billings paper ran the story a couple of days ago. Did yo'all miss it?

Diane writes:

Give it a break now, stop the bad mouthing and let it lay. Let our community heal itself.

dsrobins writes:

Congratulations to Mr. St. Marks for winning back the tribal chairmanship. From recent news reports, it appears he was the only honest person on the tribal council. Fortunately, a plurality of tribal members agreed.

powerofpeople writes:

Let this be a warning & a sign of hope. No more business as usual a new beginning. BC members are accountable for their actions & must not continue in-fighting. Be the 1st to reach across the table & agree that you are not anymore important than the man you call your cousin. The BC must accept a responsibility gifted them by our members when they were elected, if you are not up to the task, step aside when your term is over, that someone with a vision & desire to help our tribe succeed can serve


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