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Re-Elected: St. Marks to Chair Tribal Business Council Following Special Election

Ken Blatt St. Marks was re-elected as chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe Business Committee on February 3.
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The Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation saw Ken Blatt St. Marks win his third straight election for chairman of the business committee, doing so by 100 votes.

St. Marks who earned 300 votes in the election on February 3, defeated runner up Dustin J. Whitford (200 votes), Johnathan Windy Boy (167), and Bert Corcoran (53) respectively.

St. Marks has now won the General Election of 2012, a special election in July 2013, and the election earlier this week. In the position he will work with the business committee to advise the heads of various federal departments and other governmental agencies with regard to appropriations; manage all economic affairs and enterprises of the tribe; charter subordinate organizations for economic purposes; and appropriate available tribal funds for tribal government operations.

Misconduct allegations, led St. Marks to be suspended twice resulting in the two special elections, claims he has dismissed as retaliation against him according to the Associated Press.

“I am thankful to those that continue to vote for me over and over and over,” St. Marks said following the results announcement. “I feel we have a mandate from the people to get to work, work together, show each other mutual respect, and make this place better for our members and our community.

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The special election winner believes his chairmanship continues to be challenged as retaliation in assisting with a federal corruption investigation that’s resulted in numerous convictions for stealing money from the tribe, as well as kickbacks received for tribal contracts, AP reported.

Following his first suspension, the Department of the Interior found the tribe violated federal whistle-blower laws with the suspension. St. Marks filed an appeal to be placed back on the ballot in July of 2013 – winning his second election.

He was later suspended on allegations that he defrauded the tribe through his construction company – with no charges filed against him to date.

AP reports losing candidates have a chance to appeal, however Whitford and Windy Boy have said they have no plans to.

“I look forward to, even welcome, the opportunity to work with the newly-elected councilmen and councilwoman, in accordance with the democracy and freedom,” St. Marks said.