Lobbyist accuses Tennessee Indian panel of making threats
A lobbyist for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma says members of the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs are out of control.

Mark Greene claims that commissioner Jimmy Thigpen threatened to shoot him at a recent meeting. He says the state needs to provide security at the next meeting on June 19.

"If this were a war party, you'd be shot," Thigpen said, according to Greene.

But commissioners say Greene misinterpreted the remarks. They say they were talking about historical events and what might happen "back in the old days," according to chairman Tammera . Hicks.

"It was just a history lesson. It wasn't a threat," Hicks told The Knoxville News.

The Cherokee Nation is trying to prevent the commission from recognizing groups that claim Cherokee ties. The tribe also lobbied lawmakers against recognizing so-called Cherokee groups.

The commission finalized a process to recognize tribes but the commission is due to expire on June 30.

Get the Story:
Lobbyist: Indian Affairs meeting became 'mob scene' (The Chattanooga Free Press 5/25)
Humphrey on the Hill: Lobbyist Told 'If This Were a War Party, You'd Be Shot' at Indian Commission Meeting (The Knoxville News 5/24)

Related Stories:
State recognition rules a subject of dispute in Tennessee (3/22)
Editorial: Lawmakers shouldn't decide recognition (5/28)
Cherokee Nation blasts Tennessee 'culture clubs' (5/27)
Editorial: Reconsider Tennessee recognition bill (5/26)
Muscogee Nation opposes Tennessee recognition bill (5/20)
Cherokee Nation lobbies against 'Cherokees' (5/13)