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Tribal Chairman Convicted Of Bribery Charges

August 4, 2011, 4:56 PM

PIERRE, SD - A federal court jury has convicted Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Chairman Duane Big Eagle on bribery and conspiracy charges in a scheme that rewarded tribal officials for giving construction contracts for new buildings at the tribe's school in central South Dakota.

The jury convicted the 61-year-old Big Eagle on two counts of conspiracy and one count of bribery. It acquitted him on one count of bribery.  Big Eagle declined to comment after the verdict Thursday. His lawyer, Dana Hanna, says Big Eagle will appeal the convictions. 

Big Eagle could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced October 24.  The charges relate to awarding contracts to build a new dorm and kitchen facility after a 2005 fire and 2008 contracts for housing at the school.

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