Law | Politics

Republican lawmaker for reservations has felony conviction

Gilbert Bruce Meyers, center, with fellow Republicans. Photo from Cowgirl Blog

A newly-elected Republican lawmaker who district includes two reservation has a criminal past.

Gilbert Bruce Meyers, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, was convicted in 2006. He repeatedly hit one of his sons with a sandal and was abusive to his wife and his other children, the Montana Supreme Court said in September 2007.

Mugshot of Gilbert Bruce Meyers. Photo from Montana Department Corrections

Meyers was sentenced to 48 months, according to Montana Department Corrections. The prison term was suspended under certain conditions, including one that restricted him from living in the same county as his wife and children.

"The victims have expressed fear of Meyers to the point that it has disrupted their participation in every day activities in the community," the court wrote.

Meyers now represents House District 32, which includes the Rocky Boy's Reservation, home to Chippewa Cree Tribe, and the Fort Belknap Reservation. He was born at Fort Belknap, according to his biography.

The district does not include Broadwater County, where the wife and victims resided at the time of the incident. Meyers's suspended sentence concluded in March 2010 so it appears the residence restriction is no longer valid.

Meyers defeated incumbent Clarena Brockie (D) for the post. She is a member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

in 2012, Brockie secured the seat by winning the Democratic primary. She defeated then-incumbent Tony Belcourt, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, by just three votes and was automatically elected because the Republicans didn't bring forth a candidate.

Belcourt was subsequently ensnared in a major government corruption probe involving officials of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and their associates. He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.

Get the Story:
Party Of Family Values: Newly Elected GOP Lawmaker Is A Convicted Child Abuser (Politics USA 11/9)
For the Record: New GOP Legislator Has a Record for Assaulting a Minor (Cowgirl Blog 11/6)
GOP pulls upset in reservation district (The Havre Daily News 11/6)

Join the Conversation