Miccosukee Tribe returns Billy Cypress to power despite theft claim

Billy Cypress. Photo from Florida FOLK SHOW / Facebook

Members of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida elected Billy Cypress as chairman on Sunday, The Miami Herald reports.

Cypress defeated interim chairman Roy Cypress Jr., in a special election, the paper said. The tribe needed a new leader because former chairman Colley Billie was removed from office last November amid allegations of $82 million in financial mismanagement.

Cypress has faced similar accusations. After he was ousted from office in 2009, the tribe accused him of stealing $26 million although the case was later dismissed.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in December upheld the dismissal. Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Miccosukee Tribe v. Cypress.

Separately, Cypress is facing an Internal Revenue Service lawsuit for allegedly failing to report millions of dollars in income, the Herald reported. The dispute appears to stem from a long-running federal investigation into the tribe's distribution of per capita payments.

Get the Story:
Ousted chairman Cypress regains leadership of Miccosukee Tribe (The Miami Herald 3/8)

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions:
Miccosukee Tribe v. Cypress (December 22, 2015)
US v. Billie (June 1, 2015)

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