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By Tim Leeds 

Tadios trial set to start

Defendant files yet another complaint against lawyer


UPDATE: This morning the judge ordered the trial to start. Opening arguments are being held this afternoon.

The trial of a woman accused of embezzling money while head of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation’s health department is set to start today, although Tuesday she filed an objection to the start of the trial and once again filed a complaint against her court-appointed attorney.

Fawn Tadios is charged with using health department money to visit her husband while he was serving a sentence at a Yankton, South Dakota, federal prison camp for embezzling from the tribe.

Tadios has argued that tribal council members approved that use of funds, and that using federally appropriated tribal money for personal use was common at the reservation, a court document says.

Her husband, Raymond “Jake” Parker, resigned as chair of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Business Committee one day before he pleaded guilty May 24, 2011, in federal District Court in Great Falls to using a tribal credit card to charge nearly $60,000 for personal use.

Tuesday, Tadios filed an objection to “the commencement of trial” and a complaint against her latest court-appointed attorney. Neither of those documents is open to the public.

The attorney against whom she filed the complaints is her fifth court-appointed attorney.

Tadios briefly represented herself after refusing to accept a new court-appointed attorney without filing new complaints.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris wrote in his March 17 order that the court was prepared to appoint counsel for the fifth time if Tadios would agree to not file, without prior approval from the court, any kind of professional complaint against the attorney or try to have her counsel disqualified from the proceedings.

“Defendant refused to accept new counsel on these terms, and informed the court that she wished to represent herself in this matter despite the Court’s repeated warnings that proceeding pro se was dangerous and not in her best interests,” Morris wrote in the order.

After a hearing April 14, Morris issued an order appointing counsel, but required Tadios to pay $500 a month, writing in the order 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 and that income more than her expenses still is available to Tadios, primarily through her husband’s wages, in excess of $50,000 a year.

At the time, Raymond Parker was listed as the director of the transit system at Rocky Boy.

The document filed Tuesday is listed as Tadios’ second complaint against her court-appointed attorney.


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