Kevin Abourezk: Two more leaders of Winnebago Tribe quit jobs

Chairman John Blackhawk is facing a recall effort. Photo from Ho-Chunk Inc / Facebook

Two more leaders of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska resigned amid scrutiny of the council's spending. Native reporter Kevin Abourezk has more on the latest developments:
Two Winnebago tribal council members have resigned and another remains suspended following the release of a report last week that showed council members had given themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and tribal casino gifts.

And on Tuesday, tribal members elected a new council member who promised to take a strong stance against exorbitant spending on council members’ salaries and benefits. With 176 votes, Vincent Bass received 51 percent of the vote in a field of 10 candidates.

“I’m all for lowering salaries, across the board, not just for council members,” he told people gathered at a tribal meeting Wednesday. “I want to take that money back where it’s being misspent and put it back in our children and elders programs.”

The Winnebago tribal council before the shakeup. Three leaders have resigned since December. Photo from Winnebago Tribe
Bass was elected to the seat left vacant by former tribal council vice chairman Darwin Snyder, who resigned in December after he was accused of failing to properly authorize issuance of prepaid debit cards to council members.

On Wednesday, FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault declined to comment on reports that her agency had begun an investigation into alleged corruption by tribal council members.

“Unfortunately, we can’t comment on it because it is an ongoing investigation,” she said. “As soon as anything becomes public knowledge, we would be able to release something at that time.”

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Winnebago council members resign following release of audit (The Lincoln Journal Star 3/6)

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