Kickapoo removal

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HORTON, Kan. - District Judge Peter Beekman of the Kickapoo Nation in Kansas has barred two elected tribal council members from representing themselves as leaders of the Kickapoo Tribal government.

On Monday, March 27, Beekman ruled that Chairman Steve Cadue and Vice Chairwoman Thelma Simon are to cease representing themselves as tribal leaders in contacts with the public and other government offices.

The restraining order states that Cadue and Simon have not been removed from the tribal council, but have had their positions and function supplanted by other members of the Tribal Council because of litigation. The court papers state that the Kickapoo Nation Tribal Council requested the action because of irreparable harm that would result to the Nation if certain activities of Cadue and Simon were not restrained.

Cadue said the actions the council is trying to restrain are the request he and Simon made of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for an investigation of the Kickapoo Tribal Council and a Feb. 11 letter requesting resignations of other tribal council.

In court documents, Simon and Cadue are accused of not holding regular tribal council meetings and that was interfering with conducting tribal business.

"That's a false statement," Cadue said, "we held meetings routinely. In fact, on more than one occasion, one or two or three of the other tribal council members didn't attend. I believe this is in direct retaliation for Thelma Simon and myself trying to make the tribe accountable to the BIA and for the letter in which we asked for the resignation of the other council members due to their unlawful acts against the Kickapoo Constitution."

Cadue is emphaticatic that he will continue as chairman of the Kickapoo Nation because he was elected by the people and will remain in his position until the people remove him.

Court documents maintain that both Simon and Cadue are not barred from returning to the tribal council as general members. However, when Simon attempted to return to her job at the tribal offices two weeks ago, she reported her office had been ransacked and said other council members refused to speak to her.