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Published February 03, 2012, 08:05 PM

Some Spirit Lake Members Want Recall of Council Chairman

(WDAZ-TV) - Members of the Spirit Lake Tribe clashed with tribal leaders on Friday over a petition to recall the Tribal Council Chairman, who is accused of corruption.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

(WDAZ-TV) - Members of the Spirit Lake Tribe clashed with tribal leaders on Friday over a petition to recall the Tribal Council Chairman, who is accused of corruption.

Council members say irregularities prevented them from accepting a petition to recall the council leader and no one seems to know what the law books say.

The fate of the petition to recall Spirit Lake Tribal Council Chairman Roger Yankton was in the hands of Vice-chairman Duane Jackson, who dismissed it. He stands by his decision.

"I didn't look anywhere within the system because I didn't want no one else to be pointed a finger at. You want a point a finger you point a finger at me," Jackson said.

Petition supporter Brian Pearson, along with the majority of a standing-room-only crowd, think his decision is an abuse of power and should be overturned.

"Let the people make it here today!" Pearson said.

The controversy is in part caused by tribal law, which election board member Oralia Diaz says doesn't have many specific rules for petitions.

"It needed review in the worst way. A lot of things in that election ordinance is vague. Vague, it isn't spelled out," Diaz said.

But tribal law isn't what drew people to Friday's meeting.

This isn't the first time there's been a recall effort on the reservation and it's clear controversy will follow if clarity isn't brought to the law.

"This is gonna happen again. It is, until we fix it. I think we're gonna try to fix this," Jackson said.

Diaz says the election board will meet next Monday to review the vague petition laws and help keep altercations like this from happening again.

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