Government , Legal

6th ON Congress votes to hold removal trial for Congresswoman Shannon Edwards

Photo caption: The 6th Osage Nation Congress will hold a removal trial for Congresswoman Shannon Edwards on June 23 at 10 a.m. Courtesy Photo

A removal trial will take place for Congresswoman Shannon Edwards on June 23.

The 6th Osage Nation Congress called itself into a 9th Special Session to conduct the trial, which will begin at 10 a.m. in the legislative chambers in downtown Pawhuska, according to the special session proclamation.

Congress members who signed the proclamation were Scott BigHorse, Alice Goodfox, Brandy Lemon, Archie Mason, Angela Pratt, Second Speaker Paula Stabler, Speaker Joe Tillman and RJ Walker. Members of Congress who did not sign the proclamation were Edwards, John Maker, Eli Potts and Maria Whitehorn.

The motion for removal comes after an investigation by the Congressional Select Committee of Inquiry after Edwards accepted the appointed office of Appellate Judge in the Yavapai-Apache Nation and took an oath of office.

Nine members of Congress voted in favor of the trial, and three members voted “no.”

Members of Congress voting "yes" were Goodfox, Lemon, Maker, Mason, Pratt, Second Speaker Stabler, Walker, BigHorse, Speaker Tillman.

Members of Congress voting "no" were Edwards, Potts and Whitehorn.

The motion for removal, made by Congresswoman Angela Pratt and seconded by Congresswoman Brandy Lemon, included two counts.

The language of the motion is as follows:

“I, Angela M. Pratt, a member of the 6th Osage Nation Congress, hereby move to remove Congresswoman Shannon Edwards from office by removal trial in accordance with Article XII of the Osage Nation Constitution and the Rules of the Osage Nation Congress, for actions that warrant removal for cause, and such allegations are set forth herein: 

  1. “Congresswoman Edwards, while sitting on the Osage Nation Congress as an elected official, accepted the appointed office of Appellate Judge in the Yavapai-Apache Nation and took an oath of office, violating Article VI, Section 5 of the Osage Nation Constitution titled ‘Disqualifications’ which constitutes malfeasance in office and inability to meet the qualifications to serve.
  2. “Congresswoman Edwards while sitting on the Osage Nation Congress as an elected official, accepted the appointed office of Appellate Judge in the Yavapai-Apache Nation and took an oath of office violating Article IX of the Osage Nation Constitution titled ‘Oath of Office’ by failing to uphold her oath to ‘always uphold and defend the Constitution of the Osage Nation, so help me God’ which constitutes malfeasance in office and disregard of constitutional duties and oath of office.”

The removal trial will take place at 10 a.m. on June 23 in the Osage Nation Legislative Chambers, according to the 9th Special Session Proclamation.