Sunday, July 1, 2012

Alaska: Dot Lake kicks out five members of tribal counsel in family feud

Five members of Dot Lake tribal counsel were ousted yesterday in a "family fed" recall. The village has only 55 residents but more than 100 tribal members were eligible to vote.

The leader of the recall, Clyde Charles, is the nephew of the ousted tribal President Bill Miller. Charles claims that the council misspent tribal money, drove tribal vehicles for personal business and used unfair hiring practices.

This one is quite a family mess, with Charles banned from running for council due to prior convictions:

Miller said the new council is comprised of Roberta Hamilton, Karla Champagne, Tracy Charles-Smith, Eric Rice and Julie Luke. Miller said Tracy Charles-Smith is Clyde's biological sister, though legally his aunt because they were adopted by different families. Meanwhile, Hamilton is Miller's niece and Champagne is the daughter of Ted Charles, Clyde's brother.

Miller and Charles have a history of bad blood between them. Miller was council president in 2006 before Ted Charles defeated him. He regained the position when Charles was removed from office. Ted Charles pleaded guilty in January to stealing nearly $25,000 in tribal funds and agreed to pay back $24,887, plus $3,990 in payroll advances. 

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