Keith Alan Mandell was in jail until the night before the election, yet won the chairman's seat by a landslide. He was jailed on conviction of battery after a second trial for the same offense - the first ended in a mistrial. "I thought there was a 50-50 chance being incarcerated would hurt my chances of being elected," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal. A reform candidate, he criticized the tribal court and police, but he said there would be no drastic changes in the way tribal government was run ... that a healing process would have to take place to set aside petty differences. Incumbent chairman Norman Harry got 55 votes to Mandell's 110. Maurice Eben had 53 votes and three others fewer than 50. Mandell was first arrested in April 1998. The victim, a woman, worked on the reservation, but was not a tribal member. He was convicted the second time around at a non-jury trial and sentenced to six months in jail. The judge suspended all but 15 days but when he failed to meet a deadline to set his jail time, a bench warrant was issued. Mandell said the tribal court failed to accept his request for appeal, adding the current council moved to investigate the tribal court system.
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