Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 16, 2012

Council passes ethics measure

TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council on Monday night repealed its Sunshine Ethics Act and its amendments, replacing it with The Cherokee Nation Ethics Act of 2012.

The measure passed 10-5, with two abstentions, but not before a heated discussion took place.

Councilor Julia Coates said she believes the new act, which excludes first-degree relative disclosure in “individual employment contracts,” favors some citizens, while alienates others.

“I voted against this in committee,” said Coates. “It was presented as not being substantially changed from what we had before, but in fact, it is. It seems to favor some council members who have relatives who are contractors, and penalizes others. It seems unfair, and I cannot support it.”

Councilor Cara Cowan-Watts said thinks the new legislation fails to promote transparency.

“If this legislation were truly the call for transparency, it is not doing so,” said Cowan-Watts. “When you start looking at the size of our community, there are relationships that could impact other business dealings that could be perceived as a conflict of interest. We’re going to replace it to hide first-degree relatives who are contractors and subcontractors sitting in the chief’s office. There are a large number of employees, first-degree relatives, working at the housing authority. We have other officials working for the [United Keetoowah Band] on contract. If there is a potential conflict, it should be disclosed in writing and made available for all to see. There’s a very fine line, and they’re basing the change on this, to hide their actions and their relatives.”

Cowan-Watts asked Speaker of the Council Tina Glory-Jordan if abstentions would be forced for those who have first-degree relatives working for the tribe. Glory-Jordan asked Watts who she believes, on the council, presents an issue.

“For starters, Councilwoman Fullbright’s daughter is working in the chief’s office, should [Fullbright] abstain?”

Fullbright explained her daughter had completed an internship under Kalyn Free while in law school, but had since graduated, passed the bar exam and is now working for the tribe as a regular employee.

Talk of quizzing each councilor about potential conflicts ensued, with Cowan-Watts accusing Glory-Jordan of not responding to FOIA requests asking about relatives and potential conflicts within the council.

“I do not respond to FOIA requests on this,” said Glory-Jordan. “FOIA requests are submitted to the administration. So, no, I will not respond.”

Councilor Jodie Fishinghawk, one of three sponsors of the legislation, said the law mirrors that of other tribes.

“We polled other large tribes, and it’s consistent with their practices and what the constitution requires,” said Fishinghawk.

Cowan-Watts and Councilor Buel Anglen abstained from voting; Lee Keener, Jack Baker, Julia Coates, Meredith Frailey and Don Garvin voted against the measure.

In other business, the council confirmed the nomination of Dawnena Mackey as a board member of Cherokee Nation Community Association Corporation.

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man stable after crash

    A 57-year-old Tahlequah man was listed in stable condition Sunday evening after a crash on Old Toll Gate Road in northern Cherokee County.

    July 22, 2014

  • svw-Marijuana-guy.jpg Grassroots efforts

    Group seeks area support to put medical marijuana on November ballot

    Legalized medical marijuana will be on the ballots in November if Oklahomans for Health, the organization putting forward the proposed amendment, can get 155,216 signatures by Aug. 16.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • washington-marshal.jpg Man charged following June pursuit

    Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a Hulbert man accused of leading authorities on a pursuit and running a roadblock last month.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-3rd-Thurs-group.jpg Third Thursday downtown event gaining momentum

    Most new events take time to build a following and Third Thursday Art Walk is still gaining momentum.
    The cloudy weather may have kept some shoppers home, but those out were enjoying the evening and buying gifts.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council to mull TMSA contract

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday are set to discuss and possibly act on a request to renew a contract with the local main street program worth $25,000 per year.
    If the contract is approved for the Tahlequah Main Street Association, it would automatically renew each year unless otherwise terminated or canceled.

    July 21, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Stocks