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Thursday, 02 March 2017 16:16

Cherokee council overturns impeachment veto

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Tribal Council will proceed with its efforts to impeach Principal Chief Patrick Lambert following votes to overturn Lambert’s veto of the action and to deny two protests filed against the impeachment.

The vote to overturn the veto was a repeat of the vote to pass the original resolution, with only Councilmembers Teresa McCoy, Richard French and Tommye Saunooke opposed to impeachment.

Protests were entered by Snowbird resident Janell Rattler on behalf of other members of that community, and by McCoy. Council declined to grant the protests a hearing or to read the draft resolutions that were attached to the protests.

Voting to hear McCoy’s protest were McCoy, French, Saunooke and Councilmember Bo Crowe.

Council voted 9-3 to begin the impeachment process on Feb. 2, citing the results of an investigation into the execution of contracts and human resources decisions under Lambert’s administration. Lambert, meanwhile, has called the ordeal a “witch hunt” that is retaliation for his effort to expose corruption under the former administration.

The FBI is currently investigating potential wrongdoing at the Qualla Housing Authority, on whose board six of the 12 councilmembers sit.

Look for more coverage in the March 8 issue of The Smoky Mountain News.

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