Attorney General Jeff Jones filed ethics complaints against seven members of the eight-member Osage Minerals Council in Osage Nation Trial Court on Jan. 20.
The complaint asks for a declaratory judgment to determine whether Osage Nation ethics laws apply to the OMC. At issue is a required yearly affidavit from elected ON officials to be turned into the ON Trial Court that lists any and all gifts received during the fiscal year, the giver of the gift and the dollar amount of each gift.
According to the complaint, Jones sent members of the OMC a letter “informing them that the Ethics Law applies to them and that each member of the Osage Minerals Council shall file the required ethics affidavit.”
The only council member not to receive a filing was Councilman Talee Redcorn because he turned in the affidavit.
“I believe that this was politically motivated because of the issues we’re having to deal with right now. We have so much on our plate why would this be brought up now, at this point in time?” said Councilwoman Cynthia Boone, who said this is the first time the requirement of an affidavit for gifts received during the fiscal year has been brought up in her eight years on the Minerals Council.
“I think it was to throw us off guard, I think it was sent to us to throw us off the major issues we’re confronted with at this date and time,” she said. “Nothing gives you that warm fuzzy feeling between branches of the new government than to try to be embarrassed by the Osage Nation Police an hour before one of our meetings. But the attempt to embarrass me did not happen.”
Boone said the OMC is busy with the Wind Farm litigation, trying to find a solution to the slowing down of new oil production in the Osage, the proposed Negotiated Rulemaking and how the new rules will affect shareholders, and the Donelson lawsuit.
“Part of the formula for our payment check is based on current oil production in Osage County. Currently, we still have oil production in Osage County,” Boone said. “It’s not a question of whether we’ll get a check in March, it’s a question of how much our check will be in March. No new drilling commitments will have an effect on our March payment. I expect our March payment to be a few thousand dollars less than it was in December.”
OMC Chairman Everett Waller has not responded to repeated attempts for comment.