Law | National

Cherokee Nation's top attorney on leave after investigation

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree has taken a leave of absence following an investigation into his workplace behaviors.

Hembree was investigated by the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service for some "troubling" text message he sent. No laws were broken but he decided to take a leave in order to receive treatment for alcoholism.

"Late last week, I learned of Todd’s alcohol dependency and the effects it has had on some employees,"Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement. "I met with those employees and expressed my sadness and displeasure for the pain he caused them and let them know I don’t condone his actions."

The content of the text messages wasn't disclosed. And Cherokee Nation Marshal Shannon Buhl said he won't be releasing the results of his investigation.

"We immediately conducted an investigation and, while the messages are troubling, I have found no violation of tribal code," Buhl said in a statement.

Hembree sent a letter to Baker on Monday informing him of his decision to seek treatment. Deputy Attorney General Nason Morton will lead the office during Hembree's absence.

Get the Story:
Tribe’s attorney general takes leave of absence (The Cherokee Phoenix 5/6)
Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree takes leave of absence due to alcohol issues (KJRH-TV 5/6)
CN AG takes leave to seek treatment (The Tahlequah Daily Press 5/7)
Cherokee AG taking leave of absence for alcohol treatment (The Tulsa World 5/7)

Relevant Documents:
Todd Hembree Letter | Bill John Baker Statement | Shannon Buhl Statement

Join the Conversation