Patrick Lambert. Photo: ChiefLambert
National | Politics

Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only second time in history





Chief Patrick Lambert of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is out of a job after a historic impeachment trial.

The tribal council voted 9 to 3 on Thursday in favor of impeaching Lambert, The Asheville Citizen-Times reported. It's only the second time in the tribe's history that a chief has been removed from office.

"What we just saw today was nine people," Lambert said after the decision, the paper reported. "How many people in this crowd support me? I think those nine overruled 71 percent of this tribe."

The tribal council approved articles of impeachment back in April, accusing Lambert of abusing his authority on contracts, hiring and other matters. He was found guilty of 8 of the 12 charges, The Citizen-Times reported.

Lambert took office in October 2015 after winning his first election as chief. He said the trial was politically motivated.

The proceedings began on Monday and ran through Wednesday. Archived videos are available at EBCI Communications on Livestream.

Vice Chief Richard Sneed is now serving as principal chief of the tribe, whose reservation is located in North Carolina.

Read More on the Story:
Impeachment of Principal Chief underway (The Smoky Mountain Times 5/26)
Tribal Council votes to impeach Cherokee chief (The Asheville Citizen-Times 5/25)
Cherokee chief impeached by Tribal Council, hearing gets heated (The Asheville Citizen-Times 5/24)
Impeachment hearings begin: Prosecution alleges corruption in Lambert administration (The Smoky Mountain News 5/24)
Impeachment hearings: Tribal members speak (The Smoky Mountain News 5/24)
Impeachment hearings: The charges (The Smoky Mountain News 5/24)

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Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (May 24, 2017)
Eastern Cherokee leaders open impeachment hearing against chief (May 22, 2017)