Lower Brule Sioux Tribe - 187 Oyate Circle - Lower Brule, SD 57548 -  605-473-5561 - © 2019 Lower Brule Sioux Tribe – All Rights Reserved

Timeline of Events: 2014 - 2016

The purpose of this page is to provide a record of the facts and supporting

documents covering the time since the tribal election of 2014.

October 1, 2014: The Lower Brule Tribe (LBST) celebrated the Inauguration of its newly elected Tribal Council in the Tribal Council chambers overlooking the Missouri River. The new Council was a mix of experienced and first-time members. There were numerous friends and family in attendance.  Michael B. Jandreau was re-elected as the Tribal Chairman.  Mr. Jandreau had served over 30 years as the Tribal Chairman and spent 10 years as a Tribal Councilman prior to that.  Kevin Wright, beginning his first term with the Tribal Council, was elected as the Vice-Chairman, replacing Boyd Gourneau who had served on the Council for over 14 years.  Orville “Red” Langdeau Jr. was elected as the Secretary-Treasurer.  Mr. Langdeau had served on the Council for over 16 years.  Sonny Ziegler was elected as a Councilman, replacing Darrell Middletent who had served on the Council for over 10 years.  Desiree Laroche was elected as a Councilwoman replacing Shawn Laroche who had served on the Council for over 8 years.  John McCauley, who had spent 12 years on the Council,  retained his seat as a Councilman.  Mr. McCauley had previously served as the Secretary-Treasurer.

After they each took their Oath of Office, Chairman Jandreau asked the new Council if they had any questions.  Ms. Laroche asked “What are our powers?”

The Tribal Council determined that Mr. Wright would serve as the Tribal Chaplain and Mr. Ziegler would serve as the Sergeant at Arms.

October 9, 2014: The Tribal Council held its first business meeting.  There was some business conducted.  There were very few spectators in attendance.

November 5, 2014: The Tribal Council held their monthly meeting.  The LBST Constitution requires a meeting be held the first Wednesday of every month.  There were many spectators in attendance.  Chaplain Wright was asked to perform the opening prayer.  Mr. Wright proceeded to light some sage and smudge everyone in the crowd.  He then loaded and lit a sacred pipe (chanupa) without informing the audience of what was about to happen.  He passed the chanupa around the room for everyone to partake.  When that was completed Mr. Wright prayed for peace and that we all work together for the sake of the people.  He then cleaned the pipe and put it away into a plastic bag.  He placed the plastic bag onto the table and immediately reached for some papers in his back pocket and threw them on the table in front of Chairman Jandreau and declared that he was going to remove Chairman Jandreau from office for violating the Constitution and committing malfeasance (while pointing a finger at him).  The audience erupted with shouts and hollering, some people in support of Mr. Wright and some people in support of Chairman Jandreau. An unauthorized recording of the meeting by someone in the audience was later posted on You Tube with links on Facebook (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtvSDpWHHswandnohtml5=False). The verbal attack on Chairman Jandreau and the nontraditional and dishonorable use of the chanupa were edited out of this recording.

December 12, 2014: Vice-Chairman Wright and Councilpersons Desiree Laroche and Sonny Ziegler held an impromptu meeting in the Tribal Council Chambers without notice.  This meeting was recorded and posted with much editing on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ0-7OYzW1M ).  During this meeting they proceeded to call roll-call and declared Chairman Jandreau and Councilmen John McCauley and Orville Langdeau absent.  They proceeded to appoint replacements, naming Lewis Grassrope as the new Chairman, Loretta Grassrope as the new Secretary Treasurer and Robbie Her Many Horses as Councilman.  This was an attempted overthrow of the tribal Government – a violation of the Constitution’s Code of Ethics.

December 15, 2014: A Temporary Protection Order was filed by Chairman Jandreau on behalf of the LBST. The Council Members later intervened individually, as detailed in the pleadings that followed.

December 16, 2014: Tribal Court Judge B.J. Jones issued a Temporary Restraining Order in CIV-#14-12-0119, which restrained Vice-Chairman Wright, Mr. Ziegler, and Ms. LaRoche from taking any actions to interfere with the rights of the other elected officials and prohibited them from recognizing any actions taken at the December 12, 2014 meeting because they did not purport to follow the Constitution of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.  They were also restrained from taking any actions to hold meetings without a quorum.  Judge Jones also scheduled a hearing for January 12, 2015.  See Attachment 1

January 12, 2015: The hearing for CIV-#14-12-0119 was postponed due to Judge Jones’ illness, and rescheduled for January 26, 2015.

January 12, 2015: The Sioux Falls Argus Leader published an article titled “Millions of dollars for Lower Brule tribe vanished”.  This article was in relation to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that included numerous allegations about missing money and accusations that the Tribe was violating human rights.

January 12, 2015: The HRW Report was published. See Attachment 1A

January 26, 2015: Judge Jones issued a Continuance in CIV-#14-12-0119 as the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) filed a motion for dismissal alleging they were immune from this suit without adequate notice, and attorneys agreed to reschedule for February 12, 2015.  See Attachment 2

​February 13, 2015: Judge Jones issued a second Temporary Restraining Order in CIV-#14-12-0119, restraining all the parties from taking any actions to interfere with the rights of the other elected officials and prohibited them from recognizing any actions taken at the December 12, 2014 meeting because they did not purport to follow the Constitution of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.  The Order also restrained them from taking any actions to hold meetings without a quorum.  Judge Jones included any agents or assigns of the parties in this restraining order.  Judge Jones also required the parties to hold a Council meeting in March 2015 pursuant to the Tribal Constitution. See Attachment 3

March 4, 2015: The Tribal Council held a meeting and some business was conducted.

March 27, 2015: Chairman Jandreau was flown to a Sioux Falls, SD hospital.

April 3, 2015: Lee Brannan, the Tribal General Manager (General Manager), received a telephone call from James Two Bulls, Lower Brule Agency Superintendent. The Superintendent reported that he received a memo from Mr. Wright stating he was taking over as Chairman of the LBST until Chairman Jandreau was able to return to office. This memo was sent to the General Manager, but to no-one else.  See Attachment 4

April 3, 2015: Chairman Jandreau passed away at approximately 4:42 PM.

April 5, 2015: The television station KDLT announced Kevin Wright as acting Chairman of the LBST.  See Attachment 5

April 6, 2015: A memo prepared by the legal firm Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC was distributed throughout the Tribal Administration Building.  This memo described the succession procedure for the Chairman’s seat as prescribed in the LBST Constitution.  See Attachment 6

The LBST Constitution and Bylaws clearly states on page 11 Article I Section I that the Chairman shall exercise any authority delegated to him by the Tribal Council.  As Chairman Jandreau had served for over 30 years as Chairman, he had been delegated many authorities by his Tribal Councils. These delegated authorities are specific to the individual to whom they are given. They do not carry over to any succeeding elected official.

The LBST Constitution and Bylaws clearly states on page 11 Article I Section II that the Vice-Chairman when presiding [at a Council meeting] shall have all the rights, privileges and duties, as well as the responsibilities, of the Chairman. Vice-Chairman Wright had never asked for or been granted any authority to act by this current Tribal Council. 

April 7, 2015: The General Manager was summoned to Vice-Chairman Wright’s office.  Mr. Wright demanded that Travis Laroche be hired as his personal assistant and the Vice-Chairman’s salary be raised to the Chairman level. The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire staff. 

April 7, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright released a letter to the press, published by KELO and distributed on Facebook, that he was planning to send the next day to Marshall Matz, Tara Adamski, and Dennis Ickes informing them that they were terminated as attorneys for the LBST. This act likely placed the Tribe in breach of at least one contract.

April 8, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright sent the letter he had released the day before to the press to the three LBST attorneys (Marshall Matz, Tara Adamski, and Dennis Ickes). See Attachment 7  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to terminate anyone.

April 9, 2015: A funeral was held for Chairman Jandreau.  Many friends, family and dignitaries attended.

April 10, 2015: The General Manager received a call from Vice-Chairman Wright asking about the directives he was given on April 7, 2015.  Mr. Brannan told Mr. Wright he must contact the Personnel Department regarding his request.  There was no discussion regarding the change in salary level.

April 13, 2015: Robbie Her Many Horses delivered a personnel action form to the General Manager to have himself placed on the payroll as a personal assistant to the Vice-Chairman. This information was turned in to the Personnel Office.  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire staff. 

April 13, 2015: Travis Laroche delivered a personnel action form (PAF) to the General Manager to have himself placed on the payroll as a personal assistant to the Vice-Chairman.  At the same time there was a letter included with the PAF that terminated Scott Jones, Administrative Officer and Acting Recording Secretary of the Council.  All this information was turned in to the Personnel Office.  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire or terminate staff. 

April 14, 2015: A notice was delivered to all programs announcing a Special Meeting of the Tribal Council for April 15, 2015 in the Council Chambers. The notice stated that all were welcome to attend in an open area where input would be appreciated.

April 14, 2015: The General Manager was called over to Vice-Chairman Wright’s vehicle parked at the convenience store in West Brule.  The Vice-Chairman reminded Mr. Brannan of his previous directives regarding the termination of Mr. Jones. The General Manager reminded the Vice-Chairman that the Tribe has policies and procedures that need to be followed. The Vice-Chairman replied that he knew all the policies and procedures and then drove off.

April 14, 2015: Scott Jones’ termination letter was posted on FacebookMr. Jones was not given a copy. The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire or terminate staff. 

April 15, 2015: Bob Merritt (Security Officer) was called to Vice-Chairman Wright’s office.  The Vice-Chairman informed him that the BIA was recognizing him (Mr. Wright) as the new Chairman, that Travis Laroche was his new personal security guard, and that he had terminated Scott Jones. He directed Mr. Merritt to remove Mr. Jones from the building in 15 minutes.  If Mr. Jones refused to leave, Mr. Merritt was to call the Police Department for assistance.  See Attachment 8  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to remove anyone from the building. The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire or terminate staff. 

April 16, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright telephoned the General Manager to inform him that he would be out of town.  Mr. Wright wanted to delegate authority for oversight of the Tribe to the General Manager during his absence.  Mr. Brannan informed him there are other Tribal Council members that would be more appropriate to delegate authority to. Mr. Wright went on to inform the General Manager that he wanted to hire Sheryl Scott and Emily Flute as Administrative Assistance personnel for Councilpersons Laroche and Ziegler.  The Vice-Chairman called back a few minutes later to tell the General Manager he was not delegating authority to anyone during his absence.  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire or terminate staff. 

April 21, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright telephoned the General Manager demanding that the people he asked to be appointed be paid.  Mr. Wright went on to threaten Mr. Brannan if he did not listen to his demands.  If the General Manager refused, he was to put his refusal in writing by close of business that day.  Vice-Chairman Wright was informed that his requests had been submitted to Personnel. The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to hire staff.

April 21, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright sent a memorandum to Trish Lundell, Tribal Finance Officer, demanding that she release all financial information of the Tribe and other entities to the Tribal Council. The memo specified that if she refused, she should put her refusal in writing by close of business that day. See Attachment 9  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman to write this memo. 

April 22, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright and Councilpersons Desiree Laroche and Sonny Ziegler submitted a letter to Yuma House (Police Chief BIA).  The letter demanded that Chief House remove Scott Jones from the Tribal Administration office.  It stated that if Chief House had any questions, he should contact the Tribal Attorneys, named as Steven C. Emery or Mark Van Norman.  See Attachment 10  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to write this letter.  The Tribal Council had not authorized the hiring of Steven C. Emery or Mark Van Norman.

April 22, 2015: A group named as the Lower Brule Lakota Oyate Elder Ho Committee submitted a letter with the same wording as the April 22, 2015 letter above (Attachment 10) to Chief House.  See Attachment 11 Their filing with the South Dakota Secretary of State indicated that they were an Educational Group who would “assemble without retaliation, prosecution or violence”. See Attachment 12

April 23, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright wrote a letter to Department of Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn.  This letter claimed that people at Lower Brule were refusing to release financial information to Tribal Council members.  It also referred to the Human Rights Watch allegations.  Vice-Chairman Wright requested that the Federal government look into these allegations and that funds should not flow unless he had oversight. See Attachment 13  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to write this letter. 

April 24, 2015: Associated Press Reporter James Nord published an article titled “Lower Brule Sioux leader asks feds to freeze funds to tribe.” The report, here published in the Capital Journal, quotes Mr. Wright as stating “Freeze them, and then look into it”.  He cited the Tribe’s Constitution and Bylaws when he took over leadership of the government shortly before Chairman Jandreau died of heart trouble.  See Attachment 14  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to publicize this information. 

April 27, 2015: South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) aired a program titled “Former SD US Attorney Visits Lower Brule Chairman”. SDPB erroneously called Vice-Chairman Wright the Chairman. The Vice-Chairman appears to suggest that the former US Attorney Brandon Johnson was in Lower Brule to solicit business or was working with others against him – even though Mr. Wright himself invited the former US Attorney to Lower Brule. See Attachment 15  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to publicize this information.

April 27, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a memo dated April 24, 2015 to all Tribal Programs, announcing a Special Tribal Council meeting April 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM. See Attachment 16

April 27, 2015: In response to the April 27 memo from Vice-Chairman Wright, Councilmen Orville C. Langdeau and John McCauley issued a memo to Mr. Wright and the other Council members, informing them that they would not be available at such short notice for a meeting two days later on April 29th, for which they had received no agenda and were therefore unprepared. They noted that he had adjourned the monthly Tribal Council meeting on April 15th with the knowledge that the next scheduled meeting was June 6, 2015. See Attachment 17

April 29, 2015: An article was published in the Lakota Voice titled “Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Rejects Keystone XL, Calls for Immediate Removal of TransCanada from Treaty Lands”. Vice-Chairman Wright is quoted that he and the Lower Brule Tribe are opposed to Transcanada See Attachment 18   The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to communicate this information.

April 29, 2015: Regional BIA Director Tim LaPointe issued a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright acknowledging his April 23, 2016 letter to the Assistant Secretary for the Department of Interior.  The letter explains that the BIA share his concerns and announced that they will be scheduling the Self Determination Office for a monitoring site visit to evaluate the P.L. 93-638 contracts. Mr. LaPointe also stated that they would defer the Tribe’s requests related to the disposition of funds “upon a proper request from the Tribe’s governing body” and added that the BIA “will not address recognition of a Tribal Chairman”. See Attachment 19

May 1, 2015: Terry Pechota (Legal Counsel for Mr. Langdeau and Mr. McCauley) filed in CIV-#-14-12-0119 a Motion for Injunctive Relief, Motion to Amend Application, Interveners Amended Application for Temporary/Permanent Injunction, Restraining Order, and Further ReliefSee Attachment 19A

May 5, 2015: Associated Press Reporter James Nord published an article titled  “Lower Brule Sioux dispute moves to tribal court”. The attached version was published in the Capital JournalSee Attachment 20

May 5, 2015: The KELO television website posted an article titled “Lower Brule Sioux Leadership Dispute Moves To Tribal Court”. See Attachment 21

May 5, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones in CIV-#14-12-0119 issued an Order for Hearing on May 21, 2015. The order stated that anyone violating this order may be subject to contempt proceedings.  See Attachment 22

May 6, 2015: Tribal Council meeting was held.  Scott Jones (Administrative Officer and Recording Secretary) submitted the proposed agenda to Vice-Chairman Wright. See Attachment 23A  Vice-Chairman Wright submitted his own Agenda.  See Attachment 23B 

May 7, 2015: The Defendants in CIV-#14-12-0119 (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) filed for Motion to StaySee Attachment 24

May 11, 2015: The Defendants in CIV-#14-12-0119 (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) filed a Writ of Mandamus Motion to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Appellate Court.  See Attachment 25

May 11, 2015: The Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) filed in CIV-#14-12-0119 Answers to the complaint filed on May 5, 2015.  See Attachment 26

May 11, 2015: Lewis Grass Rope and Dewayne Goodface posted a Declaration regarding Treaty RightsSee Attachment 27

May 18, 2015: The Defendants in CIV-#14-12-0119 (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) filed a notice to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Appellate Court that if the Appellate Court ruled against them, they would have exhausted all Tribal Court remedies and would file an appeal to Federal Court.  See Attachment 28

May 18, 2015: Secretary/Treasurer Orville C. Langdeau was given a copy of the letter from Kevin Washburn dated April 29, 2015.  Mr. Langdeau responded to Mr. Washburn asking for an extension for the Site Monitoring visit.  See Attachment 29

May 19, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones issued a continuance order in CIV-#14-12-0119 due to the appeals by the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Appellate Court.  The Date for Hearing was changed from May 21, 2015 to June 11, 2015.  See Attachment 30

May 20, 2015: the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Appellate Court in CIV-#14-12-0119 filed an Order for Remand placing the case back with the Tribal Court.  See Attachment 31

May 24, 2015: The Sioux Falls Argus Leader published an article by reporter Jonathan Ellis titled “Delegation being sent to inspect Lower Brule financial records”.  The article includes quotes from Brendon Johnson, Vice-Chairman Wright, Marshall Matz, and allegations from the HRW.  See Attachment 32

May 26, 2015: The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) issued a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright regarding the contract with the Lower Brule Tribe and Lower Brule Rural Water.  The letter states that after consulting with Vice-Chairman Wright the BOR “is placing the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe on Agency Review with ASAP Payment controls” due to “serious legal issues, not limited to but including the Office of Inspector General investigation”.  The letter clarifies that the agency review “is not due to performance or key management positions associated with the agreement.”  See Attachment 33 Vice-Chairman Wright was not authorized by Tribal Council action to consult with the BOR. 

May 27, 2015: Tribal Council members Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche and Sonny Ziegler filed a motion in Federal Court for a Temporary Restraining Order.  The complaint names Orville C. Langdeau, Jr. and John McCauley, also Tribal Council members, James Two Bulls (LBST Agency Superintendent), Tim Lapointe (BIA Acting Regional Director), and Sally Jewell (Secretary of Department of Interior) as Defendants.  See Attachment 34

June 8, 2015: Tribal Council members Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche and Sonny Ziegler filed a motion in CIV-#14-12-0119 to Dismiss. See Attachment 35 

June 10, 2015: Tribal Council members Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche filed a motion in CIV-#14-12-0119 to Disqualify Judge B. J. Jones.  See Attachment 36

June 10, 2015: US District Court Judge Lawrence L. Piersol issued an Order denying the motion filed by Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche for a Temporary Restraining Order. See Attachment 37

June 10, 2015:  Judge B.J. Jones issued in CIV-#14-12-0119 an Order that the case would continue and a hearing would be held on June 11, 2015. See Attachment 38

June 11, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones issued in CIV-#14-12-0119 an Order for Adjournment as just before the meeting the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) hired Gary Montana as their attorney, so the case would be continued and a hearing would be held on July 9, 2015. See Attachment 39

June 16, 2015: An unsigned letter from the “newly elected council members”, addressing the “Lower Brule Tribal Membership” was distributed at the Tribal Administration office.  Vice-Chairman Wright acknowledged terminating Tara Adamski, Marshall Matz, Dennis Ickes, and Scott Jones.  He also acknowledged asking that Federal funds be frozen.  See Attachment 40  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to terminate staff or send any letters.

June 16, 2015: Jim Two Bulls, Agency Superintendent, delivered a letter to the General Manager from Tim LaPointe, BIA Regional Director, addressed to the Tribal Council.  The letter was to confirm a new date and time for the site monitoring visit with the BIA.  See Attachment 41

June 30, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones in CIV-#14-12-0119 entered an Interim Order Regarding Quorum and Majority Vote Issue. He ruled that "five shall constitute a quorum to conduct business" (Bylaws Art. IV Para. 2). He further ruled "that any motions or resolutions of the Council must be passed by a 2/3's majority vote of the 'full' Tribal Council" (Bylaws Art. IV, Section 4, Paragraph 4) (as opposed to a simple majority). 

(Compiler's note: The 2/3 majority rule established at the writing of the Constitution in 1935 is believed to have been based on the traditional view that as nearly as possible a consensus should be reached in all tribal matters.)

 

The Court further reminded participants of the potential to hold any party in contempt for refusal to abide by the court’s orders. See Attachment 42

July 2, 2015:  John McClanahan (Program Manager, Department of the Interior Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations) sent a letter to Vice-Chairman Kevin Wright.  This letter states that it would not be appropriate at this time for the Land Buy-Back Program to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe because Mr. Wright had sent a letter to Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn indicating that serious internal control weaknesses might exist regarding the Tribe’s management of Federal funds.  The cooperative agreement would have supplied approximately $450,000.00 to the Lower Brule Tribe for hiring staff and other expenses to operate the Land Buy-Back Program locally.  See Attachment 43

July 7, 2015: Acting BIA Director Carla Clark sent a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright, confirming a new date and time for the site monitoring visit with the BIA.  See Attachment 44

July 9, 2015: The Lakota Oyate Ho Elders sent a letter to the Tribal General Manager requesting he follow the directives of Vice-Chairman Wright’s memo dated April 7, 2015 to terminate Scott Jones. See Attachment 45

July 14, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones issued in CIV-#14-12-0119 an Order denying the Defendant's (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) Motion for reconsideration of the Order issued on June 30, 2015.  See Attachment 46

July 15, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright and Councilpersons Desiree Laroche and Sonny Ziegler filed a Motion in CIV-#14-12-0119 to appeal Judge Jones’ decision of July 14, 2015 to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Appellate Court.  See Attachment 47

July 24, 2015: Yvonne LaRocque (BIA Self Determination Official) issued a Summary of the Program Review conducted by the BIA from July 20, 2015 through July 24, 2015.  See Attachment 48

August 5, 2015: The Tribal Council held their monthly meeting.  At this meeting there was disagreement as to whether Vice-Chairman Wright could vote while presiding.  Mr. Wright indicated he believed he could preside and vote.  There were other issues discussed, including the Land Buy-Back Program.  See Attachment 49

August 9, 2015: Yvonne LaRocque (BIA Self Determination Official) sent a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright informing him that the BIA was placing the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe on restricted status for P.L. 93-638 Contracts as the Tribe did not file the FY2014 Single Audit on time. The federal sanction put in place was payments of all contract funds, including contract support costs, by way of monthly advance installments until all audits had been submitted.  See Attachment 50

August 17, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a termination letter to General Manager Lee Brannan.  The letter states that the Tribe missed “its deadline of completion” for the Indian Land By Back Program and implies that this was the fault of Mr. Brannan.  See Attachment 51  The Tribal Council did not authorize the Vice-Chairman or others to terminate staff. 

According to the letter from John McClanahan dated July 2, 2015 (Attachment 43) and the minutes from August 5, 2015 (Attachment 49) it was the actions of Vice-Chairman Wright that interfered with the Cooperative Agreement between the Land Buy Back Program and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. 

August 18, 2015: Orville Langdeau Jr. issued a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright and all Tribal Council members.  This letter states that the Vice-Chairman does not have the authority to terminate any employee without authorization from Tribal Council.  See Attachment 52

August 19, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright posted messages on Facebook regarding his dispute with and attempted termination of the Tribal General Manager.  See Attachment 53  The Tribal Council had not authorized these messages. 

August 19, 2015: Several community members along with Vice-Chairman Wright entered the General Manager’s office demanding he leave the building. Mr. Wright walked up to his desk and stated “You are fired.  You need to leave now.”  BIA Police were called to disperse the group.  Listen to Audio Attachment 54

August 20, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a letter to Orville Langdeau regarding the termination of Lee Brannan.  He stated that: “You are impeding the Lower Brule Office of Chairman in doing what I was elected to do and that I am protected and authorized by the Constitution and By-Laws to do”.  He also threatened to make a motion to suspend the Secretary/Treasurer from his position and would support a petition for his removal by the Lower Brule Tribal Membership if they chose to do so. See Attachment 55

August 24, 2015: The Oyate Ho Elders (Gail Ziegler, Janice Larson, Cathy Grubs, Sheryl Scott, Janet Traversie, Maria Sexton, and George Estes) filed a Petition for Relief complaint in CIV-#15-8-0101 in Tribal Court against Boyd Gourneau, Darrell Middletent, Orville Langdeau Jr., John McCauley, and Shawn Laroche (previous and current Council members).  This complaint requested information “including financial, on the West Rock Loan through the Bureau of Indian Affairs for over $22.5 million dollars federal loan, Salazar monies and the Ranch/Farm funds”. A hearing was scheduled for October 2, 2015.  See Attachment 56

August 24, 2015: Katy Grounds,  Senior Advisor on Tribal Relations for the Land Buy-Back Program, emailed Vice-Chairman Wright thanking him for the meeting on August 5, 2015 and explaining what needs to be done to move forward with the Program.  See Attachment 57

August 28, 2015: Native Sun News reporter Ernestine Chasing Hawk published an article titled “Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misses deadline for Land Buy-Back program”.  The article includes a quote that Vice-Chairman Wright made on his Facebook page: “At the August 5th, council session we were notified that we missed a deadline for the Indian Buy Back program.” The item further quotes Mr. Wright as stating that Mr. Brannan should be dismissed for “incompetence”.  See Attachment 58  The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to publish information. 

The information in Attachment 43 indicates that there was no missed deadline. The delay in the program related to the letter that Mr. Wright had sent to Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn claiming problems with Tribal management of Federal funds.

August 28, 2015: The Native Sun News article titled “Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Misses Deadline For Land Buy Back Program” was published on the KCCR Radio website.  The article includes a quote that Vice-Chairman Wright made on his Facebook page: “At the August 5th, council session we were notified that we missed a deadline for the Indian Buy Back program.” The item further quotes Mr. Wright as stating that Mr. Brannan should be dismissed for “incompetence”. See Attachment 59 The Tribal Council had not authorized the Vice-Chairman or others to publish any information on this issue.  

The information in Attachment 43 indicates that there was no missed deadline. The delay in the program related to the letter that Mr. Wright had sent to Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn claiming problems with Tribal management of Federal funds.

August 31, 2015: Pearl Colombe (Elder and Tribal Member) submitted a letter to the Tribal Council stating her concerns.  See Attachment 60

September 2, 2015: The Tribal General Manager sent an email to Katy Grounds of the Land Buy-Back Program.  He requested a letter from Ms. Grounds to confirm her statement during the Tribal Council meeting on August 5, 2015.  When asked if the Tribe missed a deadline, she had stated “There was no missed deadline.”  See Attachment 61

September 2, 2015: Tribal Council met for the regular monthly meeting.  When calling for the vote on the first agenda item, Vice-Chairman Wright (while presiding over the meeting) voted first. Orville Langdeau Jr. called for a Point of Order, as the Vice-Chairman was not to vote when presiding.  The Vice-Chairman disagreed and there was controversial discussion until Orville Langdeau Jr. and John McCauley left the meeting, stating that they disagreed with how the Vice-Chairman was conducting business and therefore would not participate.  In an attempt to continue moving on agenda items, Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler declared that since Mr. Langdeau and Mr. McCauley exited the meeting the Vice-Chairman considered their votes as abstaining and therefore they would count as affirmative.  Acting Recording Secretary Scott Jones mentioned numerous times that the Quorum was lost and business could not be conducted.  During these discussions, Pearl Colombe requested numerous times to be recognized by Vice-Chairman Wright, but he ignored her.  See Attachment 62

September 2, 2015: Pearle Colombe submitted a petition to Administrative Officer Scott Jones to submit to the Tribal Council asking for the removal of Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler.  See Attachment 63

September 3, 2015: Orville Langdeau Jr. issued a letter to BIA Regional Director Tim LaPointe to inform him of the actions taken by Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler during the September 2, 2015 meeting.  See Attachment 64

September 3, 2015: Orville Langdeau Jr. issued a memorandum to all Tribal Programs, Tribal Entities and staff to inform them of the actions taken by Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler during the September 2, 2015 meeting. See Attachment 65

September 3, 2015: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Appellate Court Judge Paul Gotland issued an Expedited Scheduling Order in CIV-#14-12-0119 stating the Appellant’s Brief is due October 2, 2015, the Appellees’ Brief is due October 16, 2015, and the Appellant’s Reply Brief is due by October 23, 2015.  See Attachment 66

September 4, 2015: Charles Crush Laroche posted a copy of the recall petition filed with Tribal Council by Pearl Colombe on his Facebook page.  See Attachment 67

September 4, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright posted comments on Facebook regarding the recall petition.  He called it illegal.  See Attachment 68

September 4, 2015: Orville Langdeau Jr. and John McCauley issued a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler informing them of the Notice of Petition and charges against them and included citations from the Constitution authorizing their actions.   Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler were given a specified time to reply to the charges in writing, as indicated in the Constitution. See Attachment 69

September 7, 2015: Associated Press reporter James Nord published an article that appeared on Indianz.com titled “ Feds auditing nearly $20M in grants to Lower Brule tribe “.  See Attachment 70

September 8, 2015: The Tribal General Manager sent an email to Katy Grounds of the Land Buy-Back program, repeating his September 2, 2015 request for clarification as to whether the Tribe had missed a deadline.  See Attachment 71

September 8, 2015: Katy Grounds of the Land Buy-Back Program sent an email to all Tribal Council members. Ms. Grounds addressed how the program will move forward to benefit the Tribal members.  She also stated that she informed Ernestine Chasing Hawk of the Native Sun News of these events.  See Attachment 72

September 9, 2015: A notice by Vice-Chairman Wright was posted in the upper lobby of the Tribal Administration Hall of a Special Meeting on September 10, 2015 at the Ramkota Inn in Rapid City, South Dakota. Mr. Wright stated that: “Due to hostile environment in past meetings, I feel the need to move to safer environment”.  See Attachment 73

September 9, 2015: Native Sun News reporter Ernestine Chasing Hawk published an article titled “NSN questions advisor on Lower Brule Land Buy-Back Program“. Katherin Grounds, Senior Advisor on Tribal Relations for the Land Buy-Back Program, indicated that Lower Brule had not, as claimed, missed a deadline; the first landowners with fractionated interests would receive offers in 2016. See Attachment 74

September 9, 2015:  The Wells Fargo Bank sent a letter to Council members (individually), the Tribal General Manager, the Finance Office, and Steve Emery, Esq (as Lower Brule tribal attorney) regarding the Lower Brule Tribal accounts, stating they were in receipt of Special Meeting Minutes, Resolution 2015-100 and Resolution 2015-101.  The bank stated they had referred these documents to their Law Department and would respond to the Resolutions by September 18, 2016.   See Attachment 75

This letter did not include the documents mentioned above, for which see Attachment 76.

These Resolutions and Minutes are invalid because the Tribal Coucil did not sanction the September 9, 2015: The Secretary/Treasurer and the General Manager received from the Wells Fargo Bank copies of the Minutes and Resolutions from a meeting that took place in Rapid City.  These were the documents presented to the Bank in Rapid City, South Dakota by Mr. Steve Emery, Esq. and others (see Attachment 75).  The title of these Minutes indicates that the document was the record of a Regular Tribal Council Meeting on September 8, 2015, but the meeting description below this title and the certification portion at the bottom of the documents are both dated September 3, 2015 and the Minutes are signed by Lewis Grassrope (Chairman), Desiree Laroche (Acting Secretary), and Sheryl Scott (Assistant Secretary). See Attachment 76

The Minutes show that Vice-Chairman Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler held a meeting (in Rapid City on either September 3 or September 8, 2016) at which time they acted as follows: they appointed Steven C. Emery, Emery Law Firm, as tribal attorney; they recognized and reaffirmed Lewis Grassrope to fill the vacant Chairman Position (Mr. Grassrope’s previous appointment during a December 12, 2014 “meeting” had been invalidated by the Court: see Attachment 3) and proposed to issue a press statement announcing his appointment immediately; they moved to abolish the current Lower Brule Tribal Farm Board and seat three (3) new members on the Farm Board; they moved to add three new Council members; they passed a Resolution (2015-101) to rescind all existing signatories for Lower Brule Tribe Banking Signature Cards and replace them with Chairman Lewis Grassrope, Vice Chairman Kevin Wright, and Sonny Ziegler; they moved to reaffirm the contract for consultation/security for Frank J. King, National Native Media & Consulting; they moved to enforce Vice-Chairman Kevin Wright’s termination letter of General Manager Lee Brannan; and they moved to enforce the termination letter of Administrative Officer Scott Jones immediately. They passed an additional Resolution, 2015-100, appointing Desiree Laroche as “Assistant Secretary of the Lower Brule Tribe”, to serve as Tribal Council Secretary when the elected Secretary was unavailable.

 

These Resolutions and Minutes are invalid because the Tribal Council did not sanction the meeting in Rapid City at which these actions took place.

September 10, 2015: An email was sent to Senator John Thune’s Office advising them of the unofficial meeting of several Tribal Council members (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) that took place in Rapid City, South Dakota. For extracted text of email See Attachment 77For the Minutes referenced in the text, see Attachment 76.

​​September 10, 2015: Terry Pechota, attorney for Orville Langdeau Jr. and John McCauley, issued a letter to Wells Fargo Bank regarding the unofficial meeting of several Tribal Council members (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) that took place in Rapid City, South Dakota. See Attachment 78

September 10, 2015:  Orville Langdeau Jr. sent a letter to BIA Regional Director Tim LaPointe to inform him of the unofficial meeting of several Tribal Council members (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) that took place in Rapid City, South Dakota.  See Attachment 79

September 11, 2015: Orville Langdeau Jr. and John McCauley filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree Laroche, and Lewis Grass Rope to prevent them from holding meetings without notice, from taking any actions without a quorum and the four (4) affirmative votes required in favor of any action taken, from filling the Chairman’s position voting except in the case of a tie, and from enforcing any action taken on September 2, 2015, or September 3, or 8, 2015, including submitting signature cards to any banking institution.  See Attachment 80

September 11, 2015: Roquel Gourneau published an article titled “The Not So Transparent, Unconstitutional Attempted Appointment of New Chairman“ on her blog, denouncing the information Vice-Chairman Wright was distributing.  See Attachment 81

September 13, 2015: Resolution # 2015-103 was distributed in the Lower Brule Community.  The resolution states that Lewis Grass Rope was appointed as Chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe on September 10, 2015 by Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Laroche.  See Attachment 82   This resolution is invalid because the Tribal Council did not sanction the meeting in Rapid City at which it was passed.

September 14, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a letter to DOI Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn stating they had seated a new Chairman and would like to meet regarding P.L. 93-638 Contracts.  He also asked again that the DOI allow him to have proper oversight. See Attachment 83   The Tribal Council had not authorized this request.  

September 14, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones in CIV-#15-9-0111 issued a Temporary Restraining Order against Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, Sonny Ziegler, and Lewis Grass Rope. The Order temporarily restrained them from taking any actions without a quorum and without the necessary votes of that quorum as the court ruled in CIV-14-12-0119, and it stated that the defendants had until September 24, 2015 to file by affidavit or otherwise why their actions taken at a meeting in Rapid City, SD on September 8, 2015 should not be declared void and of no legal effect.  The Judge also scheduled a hearing on whether to grant the Plaintiffs a preliminary injunction for October 2, 2015.  See Attachment 84

September 14, 2015: The Tribe received a letter from Stefan S. Lawrence, Chief Counsel for Wells Fargo Bank, in response to the earlier request by Steve Emery, Esq. to change the authorized signers on the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s accounts with Wells Fargo.  On the instructions of Vice-Chairman Wright and Councilpersons Ziegler and Laroche, Mr. Emery had requested that all signers be replaced by Lewis Grass Rope, Desiree Laroche, Kevin Wright, and Sonny Ziegler.  Wells Fargo denied Mr. Emery’s request because the Resolutions and Minutes he submitted as documentation supposedly from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe did not follow the Constitution and By-Laws of the Tribe – there were fewer than four voting Council members at the meeting that produced these minutes and resolutions and therefore the meeting lacked the Quorum, the four (4) votes required in the Constitution to approve any Council action. See Attachment 85 These Resolutions and Minutes are invalid because the Tribal Council did not sanction the meeting in Rapid City at which these actions took place.

September 16, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright posted on Facebook a memorandum in response to Orville C. Langdeau’s September 3, 2015 memorandum to the tribal community (Attachment 65). See Attachment 86

September 17, 2015: Katy Grounds of the Land Buy-Back Program emailed all Tribal Council members asking to meet on September 23, 2015 to discuss landowner outreach activities and review the Memorandum of Agreement See Attachment 87

September 17, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright posted several documents on Facebook related to the I.R.S. audit.  These documents contain Lower Brule Sioux Tribe bank account information and requests from the I.R.S for more documentation.  The Tribal Council had not authorized such publication.  

Placing these financial documents on Facebook could leave the Tribal bank accounts at risk.  Due to their confidential nature, they are not attached here.

September 19, 2015: Lewis GrassRope, Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree Laroche issued a letter titled “A Letter to the Lower Brule Tribal Membership of all ages”. This letter made many slanderous allegations against Chairman Jandreau, Orville Langdeau, John McCauley and others.  It alleged that Chairman Jandreau owed money to the I.R.S. for personal income tax.  There are also references to the Human Rights Watch Report as if its claims were true (verified by other sources). This letter blames all the poverty, and social woes of the Lower Brule people on the hands of the previous Tribal Council without any documentation or actual fact. Tribal Council had not authorized this action.

Due to the slanderous statements in this document, it is not published here.

September 23, 2015: Orville Langdeau and John McCauley issued a letter to all Tribal Members.  This letter was to warn community members about the pending impact from the letters Vice-Chairman Wright sent to DOI Assistant Secretary Washburn on April 23, and September 14, 2015.  It urged the Tribal members to call their Councilperson to encourage them to approve the 638 Contracts.  See Attachment 88

September 23, 2015: The Native Sun News published an article titled “Lewis Grassrope Elected to fill Lower Brule Chairman Seat”.  The article stated that Lewis Grass Rope was sworn into the office by traditional Chief Steven C. Emery, Esq. and that inauguration ceremonies were scheduled for September 25, 2015.  See Attachment 89

September 24, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree Laroche issued a letter to members of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe explaining why they do not want to approve the 638 contracts.  See Attachment 90

September 26, 2015: The Mitchell Daily Republic published an article titled “Lower Brule Sioux Tribe celebrates new leader.”  The article quotes as follows:  “Three Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council members voted in support of Grass Rope, who lost a 2014 election to Jandreau by 28 votes. One of those supporters was Kevin Wright, who called the inauguration of Grass Rope “liberating.”  There were also quotes regarding the HRW Report.  See Attachment 91  The Tribal Council had not sanctioned the meeting at which the election took place and did not elect a new Chairman, and the Tribe did not celebrate the result.

September 27, 2015: Lewis GrassRope issued a letter to the people as to how he planned to lead the Community.  See Attachment 92

September 28, 2015: Judge B. J. Jones issued an Order in CIV-#15-9-0111 that the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree LaRoche and Lewis GrassRope) were to be temporarily restrained from taking actions as a legislative body without a quorum and without the necessary votes of that quorum as this Court had ruled in CIV-14-12-0119 (on June 30, 2015). CIV-#15-9-0111 further Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed  that the Defendants would have until October 8, 2015 by close of business to show cause, by affidavit or otherwise, why their actions taken at a meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota on September 8, 2015 should not be declared void and of no legal effect. CIV-#15-9-0111 finally Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed that a hearing on whether to grant the Plaintiffs a preliminary injunction would be held after the Court reviewed the Defendents’ response to the complaint and application for a Temporary Restraining Order and after conferring with counsel.  See Attachment 93

September 28, 2015: KELO ran an article titled “New Chairman Sworn In For Troubled Lower Brule Sioux Tribe”.  See Attachment 94

This KELO report is incorrect; the claimed election of a new tribal chairman was invalid.

September 29, 2015: KELO ran an article titled “Following The GEAR UP Grant Money”.  In this article KELO claimed that Michael B. Jandreau served on the Board of Trustees for the American Institute for Indian Innovation (AIII). See Attachment 95

This KELO report is incorrect. Michael B. Jandreau never served on the AIII Board of Trustees as shown in Attachment 97 below.

September 29, 2015: Terry Pechota filed in CIV-14-12-0119 Plaintiffs Objection and Points, objecting to a continuance and objecting to Steve Emery representing the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche). See Attachment 96

September 30, 2015: Stacy Phelps, American Institute for Indian Innovation CEO, issued an email explaining how KELO was incorrect in publishing the claim that Michael B. Jandreau had served on the AIII Board of Trustees.  See Attachment 97

September 30, 2015: Lewis GrassRope posted a message on Facebook declaring that the Tribal court was an illegal court and has no jurisdiction over Tribal Council and the Judge was illegally appointed.  He goes on to state that Orville Langdeau’s presence on Council was illegal, accusing Mr. Langdeau of not residing on the reservation.  See Attachment 98

September 30, 2015: Judge B. J. Jones issued another Temporary Restraining Order in CIV-#15-9-0111 ordering the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, Sonny Ziegler and Lewis GrassRope) shall be temporarily restrained from taking any actions as a legislative body without a quorum and without the necessary votes of that quorum as this court ruled in CIV-#14-12-0119.  He also ordered that the Defendants shall have until October 8, 2015 to show cause why their actions at a meeting in Rapid City, SD on September 8, 2015 should not be declared void and of no legal effect.  See Attachment 99

October 2, 2015: Terry Pechota filed a brief for the Plaintiffs (Orville Langdeau, Jr. and John McCauley) in CIV-#14-12-0119 to the LBST Appellate Court arguing the Plaintiff’s PointsSee Attachment 100

October 2, 2015: Lewis GrassRope posted a selfie on Facebook while sitting in the Tribal Council Chambers and he quoted from the movie “The Lion King”.  See Attachment 101

October 5, 2015: Governor Dennis Daugaard issued a letter to "Chairman Grass Rope" congratulating him on being elected as Chairman.  See Attachment 102  The Tribal Council had not sanctioned the meeting at which the election took place and did not elect a new Chairman.

October 5, 2015: Judge B. J. Jones issued another Temporary Restraining Order in CIV-#15-9-0111 ordering that the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, Sonny Ziegler, and Lewis GrassRope) “shall be temporarily restrained from taking any actions as a legislative body without a quorum and without the necessary votes of that quorum as this court ruled in CIV-#14-12-0119”.  He also ordered that the Defendants shall have until October 7, 2015 to show cause why their actions at a meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota on September 8, 2015 should not be declared void and of no legal effect. He also changed the hearing date to October 23, 2015. See Attachment 103

October 5, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones issued an Order in CIV-#15-10-0120 scheduling a hearing in the case on the recall petition against Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler. A hearing was scheduled for October 23, 2015.  See Attachment 104

See also the copy of the petition and related papers that were filed with the Tribal Court.  See Attachment 105

October 7, 2015: Steven C. Emery filed a brief in CIV-#15-9-0111 on behalf of Defendants Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche and Sonny Ziegler to answer the allegations made against them in file CIV-#14-12-0119See Attachment 106

October 7, 2015: Steven C. Emery also filed in CIV-#15-09-0111 a Notice of Appearance and Motion to Substitute Counsel that he is representing Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, Sonny Ziegler, and Lewis GrassRope here as well as in the previous matter CIV-14-12-0119See Attachment 107

Apparently the Defendants had fired Gary Montana as their Counsel.

While Mr. Emery stated that he represented the above three clients, at the same time he claimed to the press and other entities, such as Wells Fargo, that he also was representing the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. 

October 7, 2015: The Sioux Falls Argus Leader published an article titled “Feds tighten grip on tribe’s money amid investigations”.  The article comments about a letter from the BIA announcing that the flow of money to the Tribe will slow due to the annual audit not being filed on time. See Attachment 108

The article quotes Vice-Chairman Wright: “Wright also questioned why the BIA was sending any money at all because the tribal council hadn’t approved any of the contracts funded by the federal government.  ‘We didn’t authorize anything,’ he said.  Still, he added, ‘it’s wise for the BIA to send money in monthly installments rather than a lump sum until the federal investigations resolve whether there was wrongdoing.’”  

 

Vice-Chairman Wright asked for the Federal money to stop coming to the Tribe. At the same time, Mr. Wright demanded and received his regular paycheck in advance of the time set for payroll.

October 7, 2015: The LBST received a copy of a letter dated September 30, 2015 in which Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler terminate their attorney Gary Montana. See Attachment 109

October 7, 2015: Steven C. Emery filed in CIV-#15-09-0111 for the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler and Desiree Laroche) a Motion to Dismiss, citing rules of civil procedure violations.  See Attachment 110

October 7, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright posted a sarcastic notice in the Tribal Administration office that the regular Tribal Council meeting would be postponed.  See Attachment 111

October 9, 2015: Orville C. Langdeau Jr. emailed a notice to all program staff and Tribal members regarding why he and John McCauley felt it best to postpone the October Tribal Council meeting until after the hearing scheduled for October 23, 2015.  See Attachment 112

October 13, 2015: Desiree Laroche filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 an Affidavit in support of Steven C. Emery’s Motion filed on October 7, 2015 admitting to the actions taken at the meeting in Rapid City.  See Attachment 113

October 13, 2015: Sheryl Scott filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 an Affidavit in support of Steven C. Emery’s Motion filed on October 7, 2015. In this affidavit, Ms. Scott admits to the actions taken at the meeting in Rapid City.  See Attachment 114

October 13, 2015: Sonny Ziegler filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 an Affidavit in support of Steven C. Emery’s motion filed on October 7, 2015.  Mr. Ziegler explains in his affidavit how Gary Montana threatened him and called him a “chickenshit”.  See Attachment 115

October 13, 2015: Steven C. Emery filed in CIV-#15-09-0111 a Motion for an extension.  See Attachment 116

October 13, 2015: Steven C. Emery filed in CIV-#14-12-0119 a Motion for a transcript from June 9, 2015 and an extension.  See Attachment 117

October 13, 2015: Mrs. Kelly King filed an Affidavit in CIV-#15-09-0111 stating that she had a video recording of the meeting held September 2, 2015 and also submitted her version, supposedly word-for-word, of the conversation during that meeting.  See Attachment 118

October 13, 2015: Terry Pechota filed in CIV-#15-09-0111 a Motion to show cause regarding the accusations that the meeting held in Rapid City on September 3 or 8, 2015 by Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree Laroche and Lewis Grass Rope was illegal. See Attachment 119

October 13, 2015: Gayle Ziegler filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 an Affidavit in support of Steven C. Emery’s motion filed on October 7, 2015. In this affidavit, Ms. Ziegler states that the Tribal Council did not usually post a notice of Council meetings.  See Attachment 120

October 13, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler issued a letter to all LBST Tribal Members, Personnel and Programs.  In this letter they claim they have no financial oversight and blame any funding issues on previous Tribal Council members.  Attached to this letter is a copy of a letter from Yvonne Laroche (Senior Awarding Official for BIA Self Determination).  See Attachment 121

October 16, 2015: Steven C. Emery in CIV-#14-12-0119 and CIV-#15-9-0111 filed a motion to withdraw from both cases because his former clients (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree LaRoche and Lewis GrassRope) have not assisted him in obtaining past records of court documents nor have his former clients communicated with him as desired. See Attachment 122

October 20, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright issued an Executive Order that all tribal business will only be conducted in a Regular or Special Meeting.  No Budgets or Contracts will be passed by Concurrence.  See Attachment 123  The Tribal Council took no action.  

October 21, 2015: A memo was distributed in the Tribal Administration building by Tribal members who stated they went to court on October 2, 2015 against prior Tribal Council members.  This memo had many false claims listed and attached to this memo was a letter addressed to Vice-Chairman  Wright from the IRS.  The information was in regard to an IRS audit and included bank account numbers that should not be public knowledge.  See Attachment 124

October 23, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones issued an Order in CIV-#15-8-0101 denying the request for Injunctive Relief that was filed by Gayle Ziegler, Janice Larson, Cathy Grubbs, Sheryl Scott, Janet Traversie, Maria Sexton, and George Estes.  See Attachment 125

October 27, 2015: Terry Pechota filed in CIV-#14-12-0119 to the LBST Appellate Court a Motion to Summarily Affirm and Remand for ElectionSee Attachment 126

October 27, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones in CIV-#15-9-0111 issued a Conditional Order for Special Election and stated that the parties will have until October 30, 2015 to submit any closing arguments as to whether the court should invalidate any actions of the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree LaRoche and Lewis GrassRope) at a Council meeting purportedly held in Rapid City, South Dakota in September of 2015.  See Attachment 127

October 28, 2015: Judge B.J. Jones in CIV-#15-10-0120 issued an Order For Dismissal.  Judge Jones stated “that this Court dismisses this complaint until the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council votes to reject the petition or petitions.”  See Attachment 128

October 30, 2015: Chase Iron Eyes filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 a Defendant’s Post Hearing Brief arguing on behalf of his clients (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree LaRoche and Lewis GrassRope) as to why they felt they were correct in their actions at a Council meeting purportedly held in Rapid City, South Dakota in September of 2015.  See Attachment 129

November 1, 2015: Terry Pechota filed in CIV-#15-9-0111 the reply of his clients (Orville Langdeau Jr. and John McCauley) to the Post Hearing Brief filed by Mr. Iron Eyes on October 30, 2015.  See Attachment 130

November 3, 2015: Scott Jones issued a tentative Agenda for the November 4, 2015 LBST Tribal Council meeting to Vice-Chairman Wright.  See Attachment 131

November 3, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright delivered a revised agenda for the November 4, 2015 Tribal Council meeting to Scott Jones.  The agenda included an item to vacate the Secretary-Treasurer position pursuant to the LBST Constitution Article V.  It also included as Item #35 the Pearl Colombe Letter. See Attachment 132

November 3, 2015: In CIV-#15-9-0111 Judge B.J. Jones issued a Temporary Restraining Order.  Judge Jones admits that the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree LaRoche and Lewis GrassRope) may have failed to file a brief on the issues currently on appeal in CIV-#14-12-0119 with the LBST Appellate Court.  Until that appeal is decided this Court found that all of these Parties would continue to be directed by this Court to comply with the constitutional requirements they swore to uphold when they were elected and sworn in, as interpreted in CIV-#14-12-0119. Judge Jones Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed that this Court invalidated the actions taken by Defendants Wright, Ziegler, and LaRoche at a Tribal Council meeting purportedly held in Rapid City, South Dakota September 3 and/or 8, 2015 as violating prior orders of this Court and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Constitution.  See Attachment 133

The Court noted that the Defendants (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, and Desiree LaRoche) asserted through their new counsel that the Plaintiffs by walking away from the Tribal Council meeting started at Lower Brule on September 2, 2015 violated this Court’s order and that this action permitted them to proceed with the reconvened meeting in Rapid City, where the actions complained of in this lawsuit occurred. The remedy for the Defendants, if they feel the Plaintiffs violated this Court’s order in the other matter, is to file a motion to hold the Plaintiffs in contempt of Court, not to take actions that violate the very order that they claim the Plaintiffs violated when they walked away. By holding another meeting – either a reconvened or new meeting at a location off the reservation and without notice to the Plaintiffs – the Defendants violated the prior order of the Court.

The Constitution and By-Laws require the Council to meet in Lower Brule and not in Rapid City. This Court had already interpreted the Indian Civil Rights Act as granting to the elected leaders of the Tribe a property right in their offices and that right included the right to adequate notice of meetings where they exercise the rights of their offices. In addition the actions taken by the three elected Defendants were taken without the four (4) votes required by the Constitution. Those actions violated the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Constitution and must be enjoined.

November 12, 2015: The Tribe received a copy of a letter dated November 6, 2015 from BIA Agency Superintendent James Two Bulls.  Mr. Two Bulls was responding to a letter dated November 3, 2015 from Vice-Chairman Wright requesting a map of the Gillman Homestead Purchase, particularly where the house sitsSee Attachment 134

This property is where the Tribal Council Secretary-Treasurer Orville Langdeau resides. 

November 13, 2015: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a memo to Orville Langdeau and John McCauley asking for full oversight.  See Attachment 135

November 20, 2015: Lewis GrassRope posted an article on Facebook.  Amongst other claims, Mr. Grass Rope again made allegations of corruption.  See Attachment 136

November 22, 2015: David Deloria posted a threat against “wasicu’s” (white people) on FacebookSee Attachment 137

December 15, 2015: Teton Thompson posted negative comments on Facebook. See Attachment 138

December 15, 2015: Gayle Ziegler, Janice Larson, Cathy Grubbs, Sheryl Scott, Janet Traversie, Maria Sexton, and George Estes filed a petition for removal from Tribal Council against Orville C. Langdeau Jr. in Tribal Court claiming that he does not reside on the reservation.  See Attachment 139

January 6, 2016: DeWayne Goodface delivered a letter to Lower Brule Chief Judge Lorrie Miner on behalf of the Kul Wicasa Lakota Ospiye members.  The letter asked Judge Miner to recuse herself or be banished from the reservation.  The letter goes on to state that Judge Miner, Lee Brannan and B.J Jones would be banished from the reservation on January 8, 2016.  See Attachment 140

January 7, 2016: Charles Laroche posted on Facebook a message asking to “support the members of the Lower Brule Tribe in the removal of two white non-enrolled Tribal Employees tomorrow at noon at the Courthouse”.  See Attachment 141

January 7, 2016: Robbie Stricker posted on Facebook a request for people to assist in the removal of white non-enrolled Tribal Employees at noon at the Courthouse.  See Attachment 142

January 13, 2016: Lewis Grass Rope posted on Facebook a lengthy complaint against Judge Miner, including allegations about Treaty violations.  See Attachment 143

January 15, 2016: The Kul Wicasa Lakota Ospiye members issued a letter to the South Dakota State Bar Association complaining about Judge Miner.  See Attachment 144

January 15, 2016: An anonymous video was posted on YouTube reporting the claims in the HRW report and other allegations against current and former Tribal Council members and staff (http://youtu.be/31syUYIbZMg).

January 29, 2016: Judge B. J. Jones issued in CIV-#16-1-001 a Scheduling Order allowing Orville Langdeau, Jr. 20 days to respond to the Motion for his removal.  Judge Jones also stated that the Plaintiffs (Kevin Wright, Sonny Ziegler, Desiree LaRoche) would have 30 days to demonstrate that they had filed their petition with the Tribal Council, and that a lawful quorum had taken action on the petition.  See Attachment 145

February 16, 2016: Terry Pechota in CIV-#16-1-001 filed an Answer and Memorandum in Support of Dismissal.  Mr. Pechota asks the Court to dismiss the motion made by Gayle Ziegler, Janice Larson, Cathy Grubbs, Sheryl Scott, Janet Traversie, Maria Sexton, and George Estes.  See Attachment 146

March 8, 3016: Lee Brannan, Tribal Manager received a letter from Gary Montana.  It was a demand letter issued to Kevin Wright, Desiree Laroche, and Sonny Ziegler for past due legal services invoices.  Mr. Montana threatened to bring a lawsuit against them in the State of Wisconsin if they do not pay or make arrangements within 10 days.  See Attachment 147

March 9, 2016: The Lakota Oyate Ho Elders submitted a letter to Vice-Chairman Wright requesting a special meeting of the Tribal Council to discuss the requirement of a Tribal Court order regarding the removal of Orville Langdeau.   See Attachment 148

March 11, 2016: Terry Pechota filed in CIV-#16-1-001 a Motion to Dismiss for the accusation that Orville Langdeau did not live on the Reservation.  See Attachment 149

March 11, 2016: Judge B.J. Jones issued in CIV-#16-1-001 an Order dismissing the case filed against Orville Langdeau Jr. by Gayle Ziegler, Janice Larson, Cathy Grubbs, Sheryl Scott, Janet Traversie, Maria Sexton, and George Estes.  See Attachment 150

March 20, 2016: Scott Jones passed away at Sanford Chamberlain Hospital.

March 23, 2016: The Pierre Capital Journal published an article titled “Feds: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misspent $2.7M in grants”.  See Attachment 151

The article is misleading.

March 23, 2016: KELO published an article titled “Feds: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misspent $2.7M in grants”.  See Attachment 152

The article is misleading.

March 23, 2016: Orville C. Langdeau issued responses to specific questions asked by James Nord of the Associated Press.  See Attachment 153

 

March 23, 2016: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a letter to Dennis Ickes stating demands for documents and again terminating him from any involvement with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Mr. Wright requested that any tribal documents in Mr. Icke's possession be returned. Mr. Wright indicated that refusing to do so was interfering with his ability to understand all legal and financial history of the past. See Attachment 154  The Tribal Council neither authorized the Vice-Chairman to terminate staff nor passed a Resolution supporting this action. 

March 23, 2016: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a letter to Marshall Matz stating demands for documents and again terminating him from any involvement with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Mr. Wright requested that any tribal documents in Mr. Matz's possession be returned. Mr. Wright indicated that refusing to do so was interfering with his ability to understand the legal and financial history of the past. See Attachment 155 The Tribal Council neither authorized the Vice-Chairman to terminate staff nor passed a Resolution supporting this action. 

​March 24, 2016: A funeral was held at the Lower Brule Community Center for Scott Jones.

March 24, 2016: The Sioux Falls Argus Leader published an article titled ”Audit of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe raises red flags”.  See Attachment 156

March 29, 2016: KCCR Radio published an article titled “Familiar Names Tied To Lower Brule Federal Money Misuse”.  See Attachment 157

April 7, 2016: Vice-Chairman Wright issued a letter to Tara Adamski stating demands for documents and again terminating her from any involvement with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Mr. Wright requested that any tribal documents in Ms. Adamski's possession be returned. Mr. Wright indicated that refusing to do so was interfering with his ability to understand the legal and financial history of the past. See Attachment 158  The Tribal Council neither authorized the Vice-Chairman to terminate staff nor passed a Resolution supporting this action. 

April 20, 2016:  Vance Jandreau filed a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus with the court, asking Judge Jones to compel Vice-Chairman Wright to place the Petition for Removal (of Mr. Wright, Mr. Ziegler and Ms. LaRoche) on the Tribal Council Agenda to be addressed by the Council as he had requested numerous times in the past.   See Attachment 159

The documents attached to this Petition are: (a) the original petition for removal submitted to Acting Recording Secretary Sept 12, 2015; (b) the above referenced Tribal Council [draft] Agendas of November 4 and December 3, 2015; (c) the three subsequent requests by Vance Jandreau to be placed on the Tribal Council Agenda (January, February and March 2016); (d) a copy of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Constitution; and (e), a copy of CIV #15=10-0120 with the accompanying documentation submitted in that hearing. For the relevant pages in the Constitution, go to the link at the top of this page and see Page 5, Article V, Section 4 - and ByLaws page 11, Sections 1 & 2; for the other documents, See Attachment 159A.


April 21, 2016: Vice-Chairman Wright received a letter from Yvonne LaRocque, Regional BIA Office.  This letter responds to Mr. Wright's request of February 12, 2016 for a BIA audit.  The letter attached the BIA Findings and Determination for this audit. See Attachment 160 

May 9, 2016:  Judge Jones issued a Court Order to Vice-Chairman Wright to show cause to the Writ of Mandemas and requested that Mr. Wright respond before May 20, 2016. See Attachment 161

May 19, 2016:  Vice-Chairman Wright submitted his response to Judge Jones as to why he had not placed the Petition for Removal on the Tribal Council Meeting Agendas since October 2015. See Attachment 162