Native Sun News: Rosebud Sioux Tribe leader sidelined by council

The following story was written and reported by Ernestine Chasing Hawk, Native Sun News Staff Writer All content © Native Sun News.

Cyril "Whitey" Scott

Rosebud Sioux Tribal President suspended
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Staff Writer

ROSEBUD –– Amid controversy over constitutional requirements for the number of votes needed to bring ethics charges against the leader of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, council moved to suspend President Cyril “Whitey” Scott.

According to a press release from Lakota Voice, during a meeting of Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council on Feb. 17, Scott was suspended for 60 days without pay pending further investigations into an ethics charge brought against him by RST member Tamaleon Wilcox.

On Friday, Feb. 13 during an ethics hearing against the President a vote of the RST Council, 13 in favor, 3 no, 1 abstain, 3 absent, led to controversy over whether 13 or 14 votes were needed for a two thirds majority to find Scott guilty.

“A bigger deal is being made out of this than it really is. Everything was done according to the Constitution, the number is there; the vote was taken. It is what it is and it complies with the Constitution,” RST council representative Tuffy Lunderman said.

Council went with the 13 votes as the needed two-thirds and found Scott guilty of the ethics violation.

“I do apologize. Everybody makes mistakes. I hope we can move on. I made a mistake. Will I make another one? Probably, but I hope not. I apologize. Let’s move on. Let’s do something for the betterment of the people,” Scott told the RST council.

The ethics charges stems from a complaint filed by Wilcox dated Oct. 30, 2013 in which she alleges she was fired from her employment from RST Transportation as a means of retaliation by Scott. Wilcox alleges she was fired after filing a complaint against the Tribal Chairman.

According to court documents presented during the ethics hearing by Scotts Attorney Al Arendt there was an altercation between Scott and Wilcox in July of 2013 outside a local pub in Mission called Chute II.

Rihanna Night Pipe testified she was with Wilcox on the night of the altercation and saw Wilcox dig her fingernails into Scott’s arm, throw rocks at Scott’s vehicle, follow him at a high rate of speed and then try to break into his house.

According to Arendt, the incident led to the arrest of Wilcox and Night Pipe on charges of Failure to Disperse and Vandalism which were later dropped.

“Stick to the facts here, I’m not on trial here,” Wilcox testified. “That has already gone through the courts.”

“The facts are that your president was assaulted by this woman and lied about it,” Arendt told the ethics committee. “She says this assault has nothing to do with this complaint but it has everything to do with this complaint. He’s got every right in the world to protect himself when he’s assaulted by a tribal employee and she’s not credible.”

According to the press release from Lakota Voice, the RST council agreed to meet on Tuesday, Feb. 17 to determine the penalties to be imposed on President Scott.

A motion was made and passed to delegate Vice President William Kindle as chairman in the interim. On Feb. 17 after conferring with Attorney Steven Sandven over speaker phone it was decided that Scott’s penalties will be suspension for 60 days without pay, “in order to give ample time for other complaints to be heard.”

On Feb. 27, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., President Scott will have the opportunity to defend himself from further penalties.

“I’m thankful though for the verdict because no woman, man, tribal member or employee should ever be subject to retaliation, defamation, or any repercussions by an elected official. It’s a straight violation of their oath of office and the ethical standards they are supposed to abide by,” said Wilcox.

Native Sun News contacted the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Presidents office and was told they would issue a press release later.

(Ernestine Chasing Hawk can be reached at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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