WAGNER — The vice chairwoman and five other members of the Yankton Sioux Tribe Business and Claims Committee have been suspended without pay for misconduct after allegedly trying to cancel a meeting of the tribe’s General Council without the authority to do so.
Yankton Sioux Tribal Chairman Thurman Cournoyer Sr. said Vice Chairwoman Ida Ashes and all five Business and Claims Committee members — Jason Cooke, Jody Zephier, Gail Hubbeling, Brenda Zephier and Nick Cournoyer — were suspended Friday without pay for 30 days by the tribe’s General Council.
The General Council is made up of all tribal members and oversees the Business and Claims Committee. The chairman, vice chairman and council members serve on the Business and Claims Committee. Cournoyer suspected the suspended tribal leaders tried to cancel the General Council meeting in an attempt to prevent friends and relatives from being fired from the tribe-run Fort Randall Casino near Wagner.
“There is no other reason why they would cancel this meeting,” he said Monday in a phone interview with The Daily Republic.