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Published July 19, 2013, 03:59 PM

Yankton claims right to chairmanship, cites lawyer opinion

On the Spirit Lake Reservation, an appeals court decision has removed Yankton as tribal chairman. Despite the vote, today (Friday) Yankton tells WDAZ that he still thinks he is the chairman.

On the Spirit Lake Reservation, an appeals court decision has removed Yankton as tribal chairman. Despite the vote, today (Friday) Yankton tells WDAZ that he still thinks he is the chairman.

Yankton still occupied the chairman's office until late Thursday afternoon. While he wasn't in the office today, he tells WDAZ he spent the day in meetings as though he is still the chairman, citing an opinion written by tribal lawyer Larry Leventhal.

The opinion says the appeals court ruling is invalid and Yankton should be the rightful chairman. Now, the tribal council cut ties with Leventhal. Without Yankton, the chairman's position will be vacant until the appeals court can sort through the controversy. It's expected to take up the issue again Aug. 9.

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