Government , Legal

Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle removed from office

Photo caption: Former Principal Chief John Red Eagle leaves the Osage congressional chambers with his supporters on Jan. 21, 2014. He was removed from office after the 3rd Osage Nation Congress found him guilty on five of six allegations of wrongdoing. SHANNON SHAW DUTY/Osage News

Osage Nation Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle was impeached from office this morning after the Third ON Congress voted to sustain five of the six Articles of Removal allegations in his removal trial.

The Congress voted either unanimously or by super-majority to sustain five of the six Article allegations and then wrapped the Nation's first-ever removal trial on its eighth day in the Congressional Chambers in Pawhuska.

Afterward Justice Logan swore-in Assistant Principal Chief Scott BigHorse as Principal Chief. Following a 10-minute recess to prepare for the oath of office, ON Supreme Court Associate Justice Jeanine Logan, who presided at the removal trial, returned to the chambers stage with BigHorse where he took oath of office as Principal Chief.

Here are the vote counts for each Article allegation that were focuses in Red Eagle's removal trial:

Article allegation No.1 regarding the Chief's phone call to the Attorney General's office regarding the investigation of his grand-niece, an ON government employee at the time. The vote to sustain this allegation was 12 unanimous votes of "guilty."

Article allegation No. 2 regarding the same matter in Article 1 which alleged the Chief attempted to have the AG investigation terminated to give preferential treatment to the employee at issue. The vote to sustain this allegation was 11 votes of "guilty" and one "not guilty" vote from Congresswoman Alice Buffalohead.

Article allegation No. 3 concerning the Chief's refusal to follow an Osage law passed by Congress regarding the management of Osage Minerals Council accounts. The vote to sustain this allegation was 10 "guilty" votes and two "not guilty" votes from Congress members Buffalohead and RJ Walker.

Article allegation No. 4 alleged the Chief abused the power of his elected position to improperly influence the ON Election Board by forbidding discipline in a personnel matter. This allegation was not sustained with 12 "not guilty" votes.

Article allegation No. 5 regarding the Chief's refusal to provide copies of the Rod Hartness consultant contract to the Osage News and Bigheart Times requested under the open records act. This allegation was sustained with 12 unanimous "guilty" votes.

Article allegation No. 6 regarding the Paul Allen contract and questions of whether he performed work to earn up to $73,336 that was paid to him from ON public money. This allegation was sustained with 12 "guilty" votes.

The Congress also voted 11-0 in a separate question to prohibit Red Eagle from enjoying any future office of honor, trust or profit in the Osage Nation. One abstaining vote came from Congressman Geoffrey Standing Bear.

Both Red Eagle and BigHorse left the Chambers separately without commenting to the news media outlets present at the trial.

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