Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin was voted out by the Band Assembly this morning. This will start a huge legal battle with questions about the relationship between the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitution and the Mille Lacs Band’s statutes, the separation of powers in the Mille Lacs Band government, etc.
See http://www.millelacsmessenger.com, and keep coming back to my blog and Viv’s for more on this story. We’re also looking into what precipated this showdown — reports that Band officials (and probably not just Benjamin) used Band money for personal gain (home remodelling, favors to friends and relatives, etc.).
There’s a federal investigation going on, but in the Bush era, federal agencies are locked down tight, so we’ll be conducting our own investigation in the meantime.