Law | Politics

Tex Hall loses bid for another term as chair of North Dakota tribe

Tex Hall. Photo Courtesy Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation

Tex Hall lost his bid for another term as chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota.

Hall, who has served three non-consecutive terms in office, came in fourth in a primary on Tuesday. His defeat came after the tribe released an investigative report that looked into his dealings with energy companies on the reservation.

The report said Hall used his position as chair to demand $1.2 million from an oil and gas company before approving the company's development plan, according to The Bismarck Tribune. The report also said he directed $580,000 to a man who has been indicted for a murder-for-hire scheme.

“Believe me, I understand that these guys want to be chairman so badly,” Hall told the Tribune after losing the election. “But at some point, the people are going to find out just what lengths they are willing to go, including misusing tribal resources and manipulating the people, in order to get what they want.”

Mark Fox, the tribe's tax officer, or Damon Williams, a tribal attorney, secured the most votes in the primary and will face each other in the November 4 general election. Williams acknowledged that he pushed for the investigation into Hall.

“It shows that the people are tired of the way we’ve always done things, we wanted a real change,” Williams told the Associated Press. “We can’t keep operating where the government and the chairman dictate everything to everyone.”

The murder-for-hire scheme resulted in the December 2013 death of Doug Carlile, a Washington man who was involved in the energy industry on the reservation. Six people have been indicted in the case, The Spokesman Review reported.

One defendant is James Henrikson, who reportedly was employed by Maheshu Energy, a company owned by Hall. The tribe's investigative report said the $580,000 went to Henrikson.

Hall was allegedly also targeted in a murder-for-hire plot. In January, he said he was cooperating with the investigation into Henrikson.

Get the Story:
Tex Hall lame duck following primary (The Bismarck Tribune 9/17)
Tex Hall out of Three Affiliated Tribes chairman race (The Dickinson Press 9/17)
Oil-rich ND reservation to get new leader (AP 9/17)
Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall says report 'smear campaign' (The Bismarck Tribune 9/16)
ND tribe members call for release of investigation (AP 9/16)
Tribal Members Protest in New Town (KUMV 9/15)

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