Law | Politics

Miccosukee Tribe removes Chairman Colley Billie from office






Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Colley Billie speaks at the Interior Department in Washington, D.C. June 1, 2015. Photo by Andrew Bahl for Indianz.Com

Members of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida removed Chairman Colley Billie from office last Thursday.

A petition accused Billie of financial mismanagement, The Miami Herald reported. Tribal members said he removed $82 million from a reserve account tied to an ongoing taxation dispute. They also blamed him for declining gaming revenues.

“Colley Billie has failed to perform the duties of chairman and protect the resources and follow the ordinances and laws of the tribe,” the petition quoted by the Herald stated.

Prior to his removal, Billie had been trying to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from obtaining documents about the tribe's per capita payments. The tribe and its members could be on the hook for more than $1.1 billion in taxes, penalties and interest, the Herald reported, citing documents from a state court lawsuit.

As part of a federal case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in June rejected Billie's claim of sovereign immunity and ordered him to comply with an IRS summons. Since he's now out of office, he presumably can't be held accountable for failing to turn over the documents requested by the IRS.

Get the Story:
Miccosukee Tribe ousts leader over $1 billion tax dispute with IRS (The Miami Herald 11/11)

11th Circuit Decision:
US v. Billie (June 1, 2015)

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