Tahlequah Daily Press

February 12, 2013

CN officials subject to drug-testing

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Elected officials at the Cherokee Nation will now be subjected to random drug-testing, according to an act passed 10-7 by the tribal council Monday night.

Several of those opposing the measure suggested drug-testing infringes upon their rights as citizens, and could pose constitutional questions. Tina Glory-Jordan, speaker of the council and attorney, said she believes the legislation needs a second look.

“While I was in favor of passing this in committee, I believe we need to take a closer look at the situation now,” said Glory-Jordan, one three attorneys on the council.

The other two attorneys, Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Meredith Frailey, were split on their votes, with Hoskin against drug-testing.

“I felt like it wasn’t an issue that needed legislative attention, and the costs involved are prohibitive,” said Hoskin. “Probably most important is we have solutions, including impeachment and elections, which are wonderful remedies for elected officials who misbehave in office. This just adds another layer I feel is unwarranted and unnecessary.”

The act, sponsored by Councilors David Thornton and Joe Byrd, will take effect in 30 days. The policy governing drug-testing, including how and when tests will administered, will be determined within that time frame.

Cherokee Nation staff are subjected to both pre-employment and random drug-testing as terms of their employment.

In other business, the council confirmed a number of appointees to various tribal boards and agencies.

Tahlequah Boys & Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Janice Randall and Gloria Sly were tapped as member of the board of directors of the Cherokee Nation Foundation. Randall did not attend Monday’s meeting.

Sly said she is glad to serve.

“I want to serve the Cherokee people to the very best of my ability,” she said.

Fannie E. Robinson and Lou Ann Collins were confirmed as members of the board of directors of Cherokee Nation Waste Management.

Chris Carter, a caterer and businessman from Vinita, was confirmed as a member of the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission.