Thomas Mathews is seen on a photo posted on Facebook.
Law | Politics

Quapaw Tribe calls for resignation of vice chairman following criminal indictment





Leaders of the Quapaw Tribe are calling for the resignation of their vice chairman after he was charged in federal court.

Thomas Crawfish Mathews, 35, is accused of attempting to solicit sex from a minor, according to an indictment unsealed on Tuesday. He allegedly arranged a meeting with an undercover officer whom he believed was a 13-year-old, The Tulsa World reported.

"We were very sad to learn this week that an elected Quapaw leader is facing a federal criminal charge," a statement issued by the tribe on Tuesday read. "This matter does not involve our Tribe, and we do not want to prejudge the charges or say or do anything that will impair his ability to get a fair trial."

Mathews is also facing charges of child neglect and possession of marijuana in Oklahoma court, according to online records. That case originated last month, following a search of his home that took place on October 11, The World reported.

Mathews is the son of J.R. Mathews, a former chairman and vice chairman of the tribe. The elder Mathews was forced to resign as vice chair in 2010 following allegations of wrongdoing involving the tribe's gaming enterprise. He later acknowledge he quit because he was sending sexually explicit messages to a gaming employee.

The tribe's full statement follows:
Regarding the indictment of Tribal member Thomas Mathews on federal charges
We were very sad to learn this week that an elected Quapaw leader is facing a federal criminal charge. This matter does not involve our Tribe, and we do not want to prejudge the charges or say or do anything that will impair his ability to get a fair trial. Our people are strongly committed to the principal that a person is innocent in court until proven guilty. However, as Quapaw leaders we have responsibilities to all of our people. For that reason, the Business Committee has requested unanimously that this man tender his resignation so that his personal matter does not interfere with the work of our Tribal government.

Quapaws believe in justice and fairness and healing, but not just for the person who is accused but also for the victims of a crime as well. This will be our prayer. As Tribal leaders, we will not have anything further to say about this matter.

Read More on the Story:
Quapaw tribal officer indicted in undercover child-sex sting (The Tulsa World November 15, 2017)
Quapaw Tribe official indicted - Tribe calls for resignation (The Miami News-Record November 14, 2017)