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In response to my first Open Letter, someone questioned the basis of my statement that Baker and Hoskins are corrupting the nation with nepotism.

I stated Baker and Hoskins:

Repealed nepotism laws resulting in Baker and Hoskins hiring dozens of their relatives at inflated salaries. Baker hired his brother as a lawyer paying him over $500,000 per year and hired his son as nurse who exposed 160 Cherokees to diseases by reusing needles at Hastings Hospital.

I based my statement on the facts that at the request of Bill John Baker, his brother Tim Baker was hired four years ago for the newly created position of General Counsel at Cherokee Nation Businesses. His base salary a year was $290,000, his fringe benefits of health insurance, retirement benefit, etc. was an additional 32 percent $93,000). He is entitled to a 40 percent bonus ($116,000) and he got a new top of the line $70,000 Denali SUV. These total to more than a half million a year. (More now with annual raises.) If my numbers are incorrect, someone can post the CNB budget for his position. You might ask won’t $500,000 hire ten teachers, build eight houses, and provide 200 scholarships?

Did Tim Baker get the job on his own merit or because his brother was Chief? Was there ever a job advertisement posted that notified others that they could apply for the position? Was it illegal for Bill John Baker to get his brother this high paying job? Probably not, because in 2012, Bill John Baker, signed the bill (LA 25-12) to repeal the nepotism law. Bill John Baker’s favorite saying is “Keep me legal.” He changed the law so he could give his family jobs. As a Councilmember (now running for chief), Chuck Hoskin Jr. voted to repeal the nepotism law that stopped elected officials from hiring family members. Did Hoskin do anything to stop the nepotism while he was a Councilmember or Secretary of State? I do stand corrected that when I stated Baker and Hoskin, “Repealed nepotism laws resulting in Baker and Hoskin hiring dozens of their relatives at inflated salaries.” I should have said, “hiring dozens of their relatives and friends at inflated salaries.”

Also, Attorney General Todd Hembree’s sister and Chuck Hoskin’s niece were hired in Tim Baker’s office. Bill John Baker hired the husband of Hembree’s sister (who works for Tim Baker) to run the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper.

Bill John Baker also hired his niece as Director of Indian Children Welfare and her husband for realty operations. And it goes on and on.

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Bill John Baker’s son hired as a Registered Nurse at the Cherokee Nation’s Hastings Hospital was given favoritism. He was the Registered Nurse who reused needles with 160 patients exposing them to disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in its report investigating Bill John Bakers’ son found record reviews of the Registered Nurse (Baker’s son) during the internship program indicated that his performance was not always at acceptable standards of care. However, the Registered Nurse completed the Registered Nurse Residency and a position was offered to him to work in the Operating Room. When asked about the Registered Nurse performance, the Operating Room supervisor stated “he had a big interest in the Operating Room. Quite a variance in reviews. Some of the variances could be to the political stuff involved — he is an important person in this town.”

That sounds like political favoritism. If I am incorrect, I invite the documents correcting this information to be posted.

I stand by my first Open Letter and can provide the factual basis for all of my statements.

These are reasons I suggest you end the Free/Baker/Hoskins regime by voting for independent candidates. One way to determine if a candidate is part of the Free/Baker/Hoskins regime is to look at their financial statements to see if they are giving money to or receiving money from Cherokee Future LLC, a company owned by Chuck Hoskins, Sr. that his son’s campaign paid over one half million dollars.

These are the reasons I urge you not to vote for Chuck Hoskins, Jr. and Bryan Warner.

Chad Corntassel Smith is a former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, serving 1999-2011. Prior to being elected Principal Chief, he worked as a lawyer for the tribe and in private practice. He taught Indian Law at Northeastern State University, Rogers State University, and for a semester at Dartmouth College while a visiting fellow.


Open letter to the Cherokee people