Law | Politics

Ousted leader of Chippewa Cree Tribe denies theft accusations

Ken St. Marks. Photo from Native News Project / University of Montana

Council members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana have removed Chairman Ken St. Marks from office for the second time in two years.

The council claims St. Marks, through a construction company he owns, stole $2.3 million from the tribe. However, no charges appear to have ever been filed in tribal court.

St. Marks also hasn't been accused of any crimes by the federal government. But the executive of the tribal corporation that oversaw his construction work has pleaded guilty to theft, bribery and tax fraud charges.

"I had nothing to do with the money," St. Marks told The Great Falls Tribune. "The bottom line is, I never touched a penny. I couldn't get within 100 feet of that checkbook."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana has indicted at least a dozen tribal leaders, employees and associates in connection with a large corruption investigation on the reservation. St. Marks has encouraged the probe and says he's being targeted by other tribal leaders because of it.

Get the Story:
St. Marks responds to allegations he stole $2.3 million (The Great Falls Tribune 12/3)

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