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Impeachment in Cherokee

During a full day of testimony Monday, May 22, the prosecution against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert made its case that Lambert’s administration has operated on a double standard, with one set of rules for him and his supporters and another set for everybody else.  SEE ALSO:• Cherokee council removes Chief Lambert from office• The charges• Tribal members speak The nine witnesses to take the stand spoke to…
More than a year of tension and fighting within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians government will come to a head this week, with a hearing for impeachment charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert slated for Thursday, April 20, and Lambert calling a Grand Council of all enrolled members for Tuesday, April 18, in an attempt to save his position.  But, while some big decisions about…
After three full days of testimony and four hours of waiting for a verdict, silence reigned at the Cherokee council house May 25 as Tribal Council convened to deliver its final decision on whether to remove Principal Chief Patrick Lambert from office.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:55

Lambert defends against impeachment charges

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In the three days of testimony that comprised Principal Chief Patrick Lambert’s impeachment hearing, Lambert himself was by far the most prominent witness, spending a total of seven hours on the stand spread over two days. 
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:54

A timeline of impeachment week

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Impeachment hearings to consider charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert stretched on for three days last week, with Tribal Council holding four hours of closed-door deliberations before voting to remove Lambert from office. To view the impeachment hearings in their entirety, visit
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:47

Impeachment hearings: How they voted

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Following three days of impeachment hearings, Tribal Council deliberated for four hours before returning to vote in open session. Each of the 12 charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert were announced individually, with councilmembers then standing up one by one to cast their vote as guilty, not guilty or abstained.
After three full days of hearings, the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to remove Principal Chief Patrick Lambert from office yesterday.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:27

Impeachment hearings: The charges

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The impeachment process set in motion during a February Tribal Council meeting reached its climax this week as Principal Chief Patrick Lambert faced a list of 12 charges during all-day impeachment hearings May 22-23.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:25

Impeachment hearings: Tribal members speak

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The council house was packed to the gills Monday, May 22, as tribal members gathered to watch the impeachment proceedings against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. They filled the seats, with additional fold-up chairs brought in to line the aisles. They stood in the halls, craning necks to watch the action, and they packed the lobby, where a livestream of the hearing played on a TV.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:14

Impeachment hearing scheduled for May 22

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In the last minutes of a daylong session Thursday, May 11, the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to set a new hearing date for impeachment charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. The vote scheduled the hearing for Thursday, May 18, but the date was later changed to 10 a.m. Monday, May 22, to accommodate the chief’s travel schedule.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:12

Cherokee court allows impeachment to continue

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The Cherokee Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings last week that paved the way for impeachment efforts against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert to continue. However, the order left several key points of contention unaddressed, meaning the issue will likely continue to appear on the court schedule.
Thursday, 11 May 2017 13:02

Cherokee court lifts impeachment stay

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A court-ordered stay over impeachment proceedings against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert has been lifted following an order filed at 5:09 p.m. Wednesday, May 10.
Two days of hearings in the Cherokee Supreme Court wrapped up today, with the three-justice panel now charged with deciding whether to order a halt to impeachment proceedings against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert until the court can come to a final decision on the lawsuit challenging Tribal Council’s actions.
A recent ruling from the Cherokee Tribal Court has called the authority of Grand Council into question. Temporary Associate Judge Sharon Tracey Barrett denied a request for a court order stopping Tribal Council from pursuing impeachment against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert, though 84 percent of enrolled members who cast ballots during an April 18 Grand Council session voted to repeal the impeachment legislation.
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 13:53

Impeachment stalled

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Tribal Council will have to change the date set for Principal Chief Patrick Lambert’s impeachment hearing for the third time — if, that is, the Cherokee Tribal Court allows the impeachment to move forward.
It’s safe to say that the Cherokee Tribal Council is not scurrying to incorporate the decisions of Grand Council into its future actions. Tribal Council held a special-called meeting Wednesday, April 19 — the day after Grand Council was held — in which it set a new impeachment hearing date to comply with a recent order from the Cherokee Supreme Court and shot down an amendment…
It would be near impossible to find someone in Cherokee these days who doesn’t know about the political turmoil enveloping the tribe, or who doesn’t have an opinion about who’s to blame. Last week The Smoky Mountain News ventured over to Food Lion, the Qualla Boundary’s only grocery store, asking tribal members for their take on the whole thing as they walked in to pick up…
Big Cove Road in Cherokee slowed to a standstill last week as traffic backed up for more than a mile, en route to Cherokee Central School and the Grand Council meeting that Principal Chief Patrick Lambert had called for 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 18. The spacious parking lot at Cherokee Central School, where the event was to be held, quickly reached capacity. Some drivers pulled off…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:16

Grand Council votes to stop impeachment

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held its first Grand Council in 20 years yesterday, with traffic backing up for more than a mile down Big Cove Road as tribal members flocked to the event, held at Cherokee High School.
The Cherokee Tribal Court has denied a complaint that Councilmember Teresa McCoy, of Big Cove, filed asking that the court restrain the Tribal Council from taking certain types of actions.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:34

Grounds for impeachment

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The articles of impeachment passed by the Cherokee Tribal Council on April 6 outline seven grounds on which to remove Principal Chief Patrick Lambert from office. In a Facebook post, Lambert offered a counterpoint to each accusation. 
From the moment April’s Tribal Council session began — 8:30 a.m. sharp on the sixth — the Cherokee Council House was packed. Tribal members filled the seats and stood against the walls leading out to the lobby, where chairs in front of a TV broadcasting the meeting inside quickly reached capacity. Faces bearing expressions of sadness, or anticipation, or grim resignation, they waited for the action…