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Osage Nation Congress to issue Red Eagle findings Monday

A session of the Osage Congress which convenes Monday will allow a Select Committee of Inquiry to complete work and issue a report on its investigation of the Osage Nation Principal Chief, John D. Red Eagle.

The 12-member tribal legislature is scheduled to open the special session at 10 a.m. at the Osage Congress headquarters.

Five congressional members comprise the committee of inquiry, which began investigating the chief in August after a list of 15 allegations against Red Eagle was revealed during a previous special session in July.

Congressman William “Kugee” Supernaw presented the list and read the charges into the record. The list includes numerous abuse-of-power complaints as well as several ethics violations — each alleged to have been committed by Red Eagle between the time he started his four-year term in 2010 and when the list was revealed.

The findings of the report could lead to removal proceedings being taken against the chief, as provided for by the Osage Constitution.

“The motion for removal shall list fully the basis for the proceeding and must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the members (of Congress),” according to the tribal Constitution, which further states: “Trial on removal shall be conducted by the Osage Nation Congress with the accused afforded due process and an opportunity to be heard.”

Continuing, the Constitution states, “Concurrence of five-sixths (5/6) of the members of the Osage Nation Congress is required for a judgment of removal.”

The Osage Nation Congress is unicameral (comprised of one body), meaning that the five investigators are drawn from the same 12-member congress that is to serve as the jury at a removal trial.

Select committee members, who were named Aug. 19 by Osage Chief Justice Meredith Drent, include: Alice Buffalohead, who serves as chairwoman, Archie Mason, Maria Whitehorn, John Jech and Raymond Red Corn, who is speaker of the ON Congress.

Reportedly, other members of the tribal congress — including Supernaw — were allowed to attend meetings of the select committee, which were mainly held in executive (non-public) session due to testimony regarding personnel matters.

Red Eagle has denied the 15 allegations on the list, saying they are “unfounded.” It was reported that the chief testified before the committee on one day, thus far, for approximately three hours.

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