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Osage Congress requests more time to respond to Chiefs complaint in subpoenas lawsuit

The Fifth Osage Nation Congress is asking for more time in responding to the Congressional subpoenas lawsuit filed by the Executive Branch last month.

On Oct. 11, the Congress filed a motion with the ON Trial Court requesting a 60-day extension of time to respond to the complaint filed by Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear on Sept. 19.

According to the motion, the Congress is requesting more time to prepare and file a response due to the recent hire of legal counsel to represent the Legislative Branch in this case. On Sept. 27, the Congressional Affairs Committee voted unanimously to retain Tulsa-based firm Lyons & Clark Inc., whose senior attorney Mark Lyons represented the Third ON Congress during the 2014 removal trial of then-Principal Chief John Red Eagle.

“Counsel for the (Congress) needs time to familiarize himself with the Osage Constitution, laws and historical budget process before a meaningful answer is filed,” Lyons wrote in the motion. Lyons also requested the extension because he must file an application for admittance into the ON Bar Association and “to consult with opposing counsel in an effort to prevent unnecessary litigation.”

Attorneys for Standing Bear and the Executive Branch in this matter are Terry Mason Moore and Dean Luthey of GableGotwals law firm in Tulsa. In a follow-up amended motion filed Oct. 13, Lyons said the Executive Branch agreed to the requested 60-day extension of time or a Dec. 10 deadline. 

Standing Bear and Executive Branch officials – who were issued the Congressional subpoenas – told the court they would not be able to fulfill the demands for the various additional financial and operations information by the Sept. 19 and Sept. 20 subpoena deadline dates. In the Sept. 19 complaint, Standing Bear asked the court to quash or modify the Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 subpoenas citing undue burden to provide the information and also argues the subpoenas require testimony, but those subpoenas did not state a subject of testimony.

The complaint focuses on the Congressional subpoenas issued to Treasurer Samuel Alexander, Human Resources Director Scott Johnson, Director of Operations Casey Johnson and Education Department Director Mary Wildcat, which demands various data including: information on the Nation’s Education Division operations, tables showing individual employee positions/ salaries for respective Executive Branch departments, documents, numbers of Education Division employees (current and eliminated positions), number of students receiving education services (tutoring, internships) and documents on budget line item shifting in the Education Division.

The extension of time request is now up for an ON Trial Court judge’s consideration.


By

Benny Polacca


Original Publish Date: 2016-10-19 00:00:00

Author

  • Benny Polacca

    Title: Senior Reporter

    Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

    Instagram: @bpolacca

    Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

    Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

    Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

    Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

    Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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Benny Polacca
Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org

Title: Senior Reporter

Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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