indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
S.D. puts pressure on tribal sovereignty
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2003

The state of South Dakota on Tuesday temporarily suspended voter fraud charges against an American Indian woman pending resolution of a dispute that tests the limits of tribal sovereignty.

Attorney general Larry Long plans to press a federal judge to force the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe to serve subpoenas on its members. In a statement, he invoked the Supreme Court's 2001 Nevada v. Hicks decision, which expanded state police powers over Indian Country.

"We're only asking the federal court to allow us to protect the integrity of state elections, by allowing us to serve these subpoenas," he said.

Long's strategy means Rebecca Red Earth-Villeda, a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, is off the hook for now. She is accused, in state court, of forging a handful of absentee ballot applications in last year's federal election, during which Indian voters carried Sen. Tim Johnson (D) to a narrow victory over former congressman John Thune (R).

But it puts the pressure on the Crow Creek Tribe, whose court refused to allow state authorities to serve subpoenas on tribal land. The state sought to compel grand jury testimony of 10 tribal members who live on the reservation.

"Each is a victim of having absentee ballot applications forged in his or her name and passed by Red Earth," the state alleged in the federal court complaint, filed on January 31.

The Crow Creek Tribal Council voted 6-1 on January 28 to refuse the subpoenas. Chairman Duane Big Eagle Sr. did not agree with his colleagues and, according to Long, tried to cooperate with the state until he was "overruled" by the council. Big Eagle was unavailable for comment yesterday.

As a result, Big Eagle was not named a defendant in the federal lawsuit but the other six members of the council were. Also named is Tribal Court Judge Paul Mueller, who informed state agents on January 29 of the tribe's stance. The state submitted in court what it said was an audio recording of the conversation.

"We are denying you jurisdiction," Mueller said, according to a transcript. He added: "Unless we get an order from the federal court saying you have jurisdiction here."

A hearing is scheduled next Tuesday in Sioux Falls to address the dispute. Long believes the Hicks decision, which allows state law enforcement to carry out its activities involving individual tribal members, bolsters the state's position.

The tribe has not yet filed court papers to respond to Long's charges. But a case that will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in the upcoming year suggests that Hicks may not apply to tribal governments.

The 10 Crow Creek tribal members were to have testified last Friday in state court. They were offered $40 for meals, transportation from the reservation to a state courthouse in Sioux Falls, an overnight hotel stay and a check for $135.15 in "litigation costs."

Red Earth-Villeda faces 19 criminal charges for the alleged fraud. Without the grand jury testimony, the case against her is weakened, the state acknowledges. Long's office tried to delay a related proceeding against Red Earth-Villeda but the request was rejected.

Separately, Red Earth-Villeda has filed a federal lawsuit against former attorney general Mark Barnett, who continues to work on the fraud case against her.

Relevant Documents:
Long Letter to Crow Creek Judge (January 23, 2003) | Crow Creek Tribal Council Vote on Subpoenas (January 28, 2003) | A Subpoena to Tribal Member (January 28, 2003) | Transcript Involving Crow Creek Judge (January 28, 2003) Complaint Against Crow Creek Tribe (January 31, 2003) | Long Affidavit (January 31, 2003) | Long Press Release on Red Earth-Villeda (February 11, 2003)

Relevant Links:
S.D. Attorney General - http://www.state.sd.us/attorney

Related Stories:
S.D. tribe won't force members to testify (02/07)
S.D. Sioux tribe fights state subpoenas (2/4)
Supreme Court work at issue as judge debated (01/30)
State power over tribal government in dispute (12/03)
Indian votes helped Johnson (11/7)
Sioux tribal members file voting rights suit (08/06)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Lakota and Pueblo Indians on Pine Ridge Reservation (7/28)
Native Sun News: President of Oglala Sioux Tribe dodges bullets (7/28)
Puyallup fashion designer competes for prize in Project Runway (7/28)
Troy Eid: Marijuana experiment in Colorado hurts Indian youth (7/28)
Judge hears dispute over United Keetoowah Band gaming site (7/28)
Chumash Tribe plans hotel tower with $160M casino expansion (7/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe changes architects for casino plan (7/28)
Editorial: State must negotiate compact with Pojoaque Pueblo (7/28)
Native Sun News: IHS hospital at Pine Ridge undergoes review (7/25)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Group disturbs tranquility at Bear Butte (7/25)
Indian Health Service discloses privacy breach of patient data (7/25)
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition regulation (7/25)
Navajo Nation president calling for FBI probe of brutal murders (7/25)
Jennie Stockle: Justice for victims of Cedarville mass shooting (7/25)
John Christian Hopkins: Waiting for Belgian waffles at Denny's (7/25)
Steven Pevar: Indian chldren are being taken from their homes (7/25)
IHS pays $53M to settle another contract support cost dispute (7/25)
Shinnecock Nation asserts control over tobacco amid pressure (7/25)
Four sentenced for stealing HHS funds from Oglala Sioux Tribe (7/25)
Unsettled: BIA questions Passamaquoddy forest management (7/25)
ASU News: First graduates of Indian studies master's program (7/25)
Blog: Tanka Fund aims to grow Indian Country's bison economy (7/25)
Opinion: A troubling relationship with Native peoples in Canada (7/25)
Opinion: Auction of tribal property in France sets bad precedent (7/25)
Puyallup Tribe cancels upcoming Ted Nugent concerts at casino (7/25)
Mayor gives conflicting view on Tohono O'odham Nation casino (7/25)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe plans to start work at gaming site (7/25)
Pojoaque Pueblo defends provisions in proposed gaming deal (7/25)
Iipay Nation puts Internet gaming servers on Mohawk reserve (7/25)
Native Sun News: Cobell beneficiaries still waiting on payment (7/24)
Navajo Nation president to discuss brutal murders with mayor (7/24)
NCAI President Cladoosby offers cedar hat to BIA's Washburn (7/24)
Woman waiting in line at SCIA hearing reportedly had bedbugs (7/24)
S.E. Ruckman: Tribal members share frustrations on IHS care (7/24)
Mark Rogers: System exploits misery of our nation's veterans (7/24)
Fort Belknap Tribes depend on revenue from Internet lending (7/24)
Oglala Sioux Tribe still working on plan for legal alcohol sales (7/24)
Two Native girls charged with assault for hockey game brawl (7/24)
Chickasaw Nation welcomes public to new community center (7/24)
Oregon tribe plans major development at historic village site (7/24)
Unsettled Ch. 26: Passamaquoddy dealings cloaked in secrecy (7/24)
KCAW: BLM supports Alaska Native corporation in land dispute (7/24)
Mixed martial arts fighter from Lumbee Tribe proud of heritage (7/24)
Granddaughter of former team owner condemns racist mascot (7/24)
Opinion: Chief Black Hawk was notorious leader of Ute people (7/24)
Remote tribes facing threats from drug trafficking and logging (7/24)
BIA indicates Tohono O'odham Nation can use land for gaming (7/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo wants to take state out of casino operations (7/24)
Iipay Nation started planning Internet poker games last year (7/24)
Fighter seriously injured at Trinidad Rancheria's casino event (7/24)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe concerned about potential gaming site (7/24)
Native Sun News: Great Plains tribes call for full contract funds (7/23)
Native Sun News: Candidate wants Obama to meet with tribes (7/23)
Audio: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on gaming (7/23)
President Obama nominates Jonodev Chaudhuri to lead NIGC (7/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.