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If this is a test … your government is failing

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The last Treasurer of the Osage Nation resigned in April of 2021. Since then, the Standing Bear Administration has failed to appoint a qualified replacement. Instead, this Administration requested an Attorney General opinion regarding the appointment of an “acting treasurer”, who also fails to satisfy the qualifications prescribed in Osage law.

Despite a maximum annual salary offering of $212,800, this administration has been unable to fill the position with a qualified candidate.

This Administration has requested Congress introduce and consider legislation to remove the requirement that the Treasurer be a Certified Public Accountant. A similar bill previously failed Congress but has been reintroduced for the upcoming Special Session on Jan. 10.

Instead of raising the bar, or at least meeting the requirements already in law, we are considering a lessening of requirements for the Nation’s top financial officer.

If this is a test, we are failing.

The Nation’s Attorney General was confirmed in April of 2020. The qualifications for Attorney General are clear, the appointee must “be eligible for admittance and become admitted to practice in the federal District Courts of Oklahoma and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

I requested and it was confirmed by legislative legal counsel that Mr. Patterson had not fulfilled this requirement after 32 months in the role. Only after this failure to adhere to the law was confirmed, do we now hear that steps have been taken by the Attorney General to be admitted in the necessary courts.

If this is a test, we are failing.

The Chief’s supporters claim that by reviewing the grotesque expenditures of the Chief’s daughter and son-in-law, formerly Casino employees, Congress places in jeopardy the Nation’s efforts to open a casino in Missouri. However, since announcing the purchase of the land in September of 2021, and Congress passing a resolution to support the submission of a Land-in-to-Trust application in October of 2022; this Administration hasn’t even taken the initial and crucial step of submitting an application to place land-in-to-trust for gaming purposes in Missouri.

If this is a test, we are failing.

Critical review of this government or this administration is branded “with disdain” by our Nation’s top official, as reported by the Osage News. I’ve simply sought to make public many inadequacies that represent a smoldering flame that has been kindled by inaction, negligence, or fear to stand up and speak truth to power.

I fear that Congress will now take unprecedented steps to limit Congressional participation in the coming hearing regarding the expenditures by casino executives. A move which I believe would set a dangerous limit on the rights of any person elected to serve in this body.  Every voice in Congress represents the people of our Nation and should be allowed to advocate on behalf of the citizens we serve.

This test requires the Osage People to demand more from your leaders. I believe, with all my heart, that we are capable if we are willing.

We have work to do.

Congressman Eli Potts
Bixby, OK

Osage News Staff
Stories that are not primarily written by an Osage News staff member will have a “Osage News” byline. These stories include press releases and other community content that was drafted by someone externally but reviewed and approved for publication by Osage News. As an independent news organization, we strive to report news and information with fairness and balance. While being the official news organization of the Osage Nation, we base our news judgements on our loyalties to our readers and Osage citizens, and we are not directly beholden to the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of the Osage Nation.

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