Ute Mountain Ute chairman returns to job after per cap dustup

Gary Hayes, the chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Colorado, has returned to his post after a failed recall attempt, The Cortez Journal reports.

Hayes took a leave of absence while a recall petition against him was considered. Tribal members are upset that he refused to distribute a $42.6 million trust fund settlement on a per capita basis.

The tribal election board, however, found that the petition was invalid but critics intend to press on. Sarah Tallbird-Watts, one of the leaders of the recall, said Hayes signed a different set of per capita checks while he was on leave.

"They are expecting the rest of us to forget about this, and we are not going to,” Tailbird-Watts told the paper.

In anticipation of the settlement, the tribe made payments to members from its existing per capita fund. A portion of the settlement was used to reimburse the fund.

Get the Story:
Ute Mountain Ute council rejects Hayes recall effort (The Cortez Journal 8/4)

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Ute Mountain Ute Tribe leader faces recall over trust settlement ( Ute Mountain Ute Tribe distributes trust fund to its members (05/09)
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe accepts $42.6M in trust settlement (4/24)

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