Tahlequah Daily Press

Breaking News

May 6, 2013

Cherokee Nation AG takes leave due to alcohol issues

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree has been granted a leave of absence to seek treatment for alcohol dependence.

According to documents received by the Daily Press, Deputy AG Nason Morton will lead the office during Hembree’s absence.

“As you know, alcoholism has been the scourge of Indian Country for generations, and no one – regardless of education, position or faith – is immune,” wrote Hembree in a letter to CN Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “The support of my wife, children, extended family and staff make it possible for me to tell the Cherokee people that I struggle with this difficult disease.”

According to a statement by Baker, Hembree’s dependency has had an effect on tribal employees. He confirmed Hembree requested and received a leave of absence.

“The use of alcohol not only affects that person, but it impacts the lives of their family, friends and loved ones,” said Baker in the statement. “In the case of a public official, it affects the people he or she may serve, and sometimes, colleagues. Late last week, I learned of Todd’s alcohol dependency and the effects it has had on some employees. I met with those employees and expressed my sadness and displeasure for the pain he caused them and let them know I don’t condone his actions.”

CN Marshal Shannon Buhl indicated he’d been contacted by Baker to investigate the allegations against Hembree.

“Principal Chief Bill John Baker notified me last week of certain text messages sent by Attorney General Todd Hembree,” wrote Buhl in a statement. “We immediately conducted an investigation, and while the messages are troubling, I have found no violation of tribal code.”

Buhl said to protect the confidentiality of the parties involved, the details of the investigation will not be released.

Baker said while Hembree and his family remain in the administration’s thoughts and prayers, his first priority is maintaining a cohesive work environment.

“My duty as principal chief is to uphold the Cherokee Nation Constitution and the integrity of our government and serve the people to the best of my ability,” said Baker. “Paramount to me is ensuring our employees have  a safe and professional workplace.”

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Crews search for Adams

    The search for Stephan Adams, missing since 2004, continues today.
    Digging has started at one of two spots near Horseshoe Bend Road.

    March 14, 2014

  • joshradar.jpg Authorities search for body of Adams Investigators are using ground-penetrating radar in a Tahlequah field to look for the body of Stephan Adams. Adams, a Northeastern State University student, has been missing since December 2004.

    March 13, 2014

  • ellison-sanders.jpg EVENING UPDATE: Documents detail death of boy

    Tahlequah detectives believe a 3-year-old boy suffered a “heinous” death Tuesday morning at the Stepping Stones Rooming House on East Chickasaw Street.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • TPS superintendent addresses THS rumors

    Staff writer Josh Newton spoke with Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Presley about the rumors going around Tahlequah High School.

    November 7, 2013

  • Police say someone started rumor of gun at high school

    Tahlequah Police Department is investigating allegations of threats and taking steps to make Tahlequah High School’s campus more secure today.

    November 7, 2013

  • Mayor clarifies anti-electronic cigarette ordinance

    Josh Newton just talked to Mayor Jason Nichols, who had this to say about the proposed regulation of electronic cigarettes, to be considered at the 7 p.m. Tahlequah City Council meeting:

    November 4, 2013

  • E-cigarette ban ordinance to be considered

    This issue will be considered at tonight's Tahlequah City Council meeting at 7 p.m.

    November 4, 2013

  • Two killed in crash west of Stilwell

    Two people were killed Tuesday afternoon on State Highway 51 nearly three miles west of Stilwell in Adair County.

    October 29, 2013

  • GOOD MORNING!!

    Good morning! Here's what we'll have for you in Tuesday's Press:

    October 28, 2013

  • kittens.jpg Kitten adopted from Tahlequah Facebook page found rabid

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health is looking for anyone who might have adopted, or had direct contact with, kittens that were advertised for adoption on the Tahlequah Online Garage Sale Facebook group, known as TOGS, on  Oct. 1.
    Adopting families picked up the kittens in the Walmart parking lot, according to the OSDH. The four kittens are described as approximately nine weeks old with black and white markings.
    On Thursday, Oct. 3, one of the adopted kittens developed symptoms consistent with rabies and was subsequently euthanized, the OSDH said  Friday. Rabies testing at the OSDH Public Health Laboratory confirmed the presence of rabies.

    October 11, 2013 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks