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Published April 10, 2013, 07:07 PM

Spirit Lake member brings corruption accusations upon tribal council

A member of the Spirit Lake tribal council is coming forward with numerous accusations of corruption against her fellow council members, including tribal chairman Roger Yankton.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

A member of the Spirit Lake tribal council is coming forward with numerous accusations of corruption against her fellow council members, including tribal chairman Roger Yankton.

Clarice Brownshield says she has been unjustly suspended from the council, but in addition to that she brings forward a long list of accusations that could expose a breach of trust. Brownshield provided WDAZ tribal documents, showing a wide range of actions she says are the result of a corrupt tribal council.

Brownshield says Chariman Yankton's daughter was fired from a tribal job because she didn't call in for eight days, but was then rehired days later.

Brownshield: "According to our policy and procedures, that girl should never have been entitled to employment for six months."

Clarice alo brought forward documents showing a payment to a tribal member in the amount of nearly four hundred thousand dollars for seven months of commercial driving classes. The checks were signed by Roger Yankton. The same man also received a 91,000 dollar payment authorized by the man's mother, a tribal employee. Brownshield says the council was not aware of these events. She says anything over 1,000 dollars is required to be cleared by council and claims Yankton never acted. Brownshield believes Yankton is also turning a blind eye to his relatives receiving tribal money even though they're not enrolled tribal members.

Brownshield: "It was during Christmas and they wanted their checks and I said "They're not enrolled, according to our meeting minutes and a resolution." How can they get a social impact check when they're not enrolled?

Clarice says the corruption is stalling any growth the Spirit Lake Nation may enjoy.

Clarice: "I want to continue to move forward in a good way, but when people don't have a vision, where do we go?"

We attempted to contact the tribal council for a response to these allegations, but were told they were all out of town and no one else could comment. Brownshield says she's reached out to the FBI, but says the agency refuses to say if any of her claims are under investigation.

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