PINE RIDGE RESERVATION — There appears to be a lot of movement leading up to the September 14 impeachment hearing of Julian Bear Runner, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
A second complaint has entered the Oglala Sioux Tribe council after a complaint against president Julian Bear Runner was accepted on Aug. 24. The new complaint which was submitted to council last week was against 12 council members who voted to accept the previous complaint against Bear Runner.
The complaint against the 12 tribal council members was dismissed by council on Sep. 2.
The complaint named council members Chancey Wilson, Duane Yellow Hawk, Ryan Jumping Eagle, Robin Tapio, Nakina Mills, Valentina Merdanian, Jackie Sears, Randy Lays Bad, Phillip Big Crow, Rich Greenwald, Glen Gibbons, and Craig Dillon for not following the policies and procedures of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Constitution and bylaws while accepting an illegal complaint against the Oglala Sioux Tribal President Julian Bear Runner. It went on to say that the complaint which was accepted against Bear Runner was based on “gossip, heresy, rumors, slander, and lies” while there is no criminal complaint filed against Bear Runner in the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court.
The Tribal Council voted to recess on Sep. 1 in order for tribal attorneys to prepare a written legal opinion.
When council resumed on Sep. 2, the legal opinion was read aloud and stated that the tribal government would effectively shut down if a complaint against a majority of the council members was accepted. The 12 council members would be suspended from their duties immediately following the acceptance of the complaint and only 9 active members of council would be left, but at least 14 members of council are needed to establish for quorum to conduct any business.
“The day our council cannot vote is the day that our council does not exist anymore,” said Rich Greenwald during a council meeting on Sep. 2. “Should I file a complaint because I did not like the way you voted? The council should be able to do its job.”
Cora White Horse motioned to accept the complaint with no second. Then Craig Dillon motioned to dismiss the complaint which received a second by Jim Meeks. Dillon’s motion passed with 6 voting yes, 3 voting no, 9 abstaining to vote and 1 not voting.
President Bear Runner’s impeachment hearing will be on Sep. 14 at 10 a.m. at the Prairie Wind Casino. He is accused of having inappropriate contact with a 17-year-old boy at a hotel in Rapid City.
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