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Chickasaw Nation can punish those who speak out

The Chickasaw Nation Legislature passed a resolution on Friday to punish lawmakers who disclose information about land deals, The Oklahoman reports.

The resolution stems from legislator Wilson Seawright's disclosure in 2004 that the tribe was going to buy a 15-acre estate for Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby. The Oklahoman published a story about the plan, prompting Anoatubby to refuse the offer and the Legislature to scrap the $428,000 deal.

Legislature Chairman Linda Briggs said the resolution wasn't aimed at anyone in particular. Seawright said it would prevent tribal members from knowing how their money is being spent.

The resolution will impact the tribe's land-into-trust tactics. The Oklahoman and Indianz.Com have published stories about the tribe's gaming deals. "We have to keep information confidential and out of the hands of the press," ethics committee chairman Holly Easterling told The Oklahoman.

Get the Story:
Officials can face censure (The Oklahoman 8/20)

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