It’s a complicated issue involving the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, millions of dollars, tribal shell companies, a failed New York brokerage firm and a $20-million Bureau of Indian Affairs loan guarantee, that is now the center of a lawsuit against the federal government.
Now, some of the same people who worked under the late tribal chairman Michael Jandreau when it all happened, are back in office.
Results from the tribal elections on the Lower Brule reservation came in last night: Boyd Gourneau has been elected as tribal chairman. Gourneau is Jandreau’s nephew and served as his vice-chairman for years.
The elected treasurer, and two new council members were also part of the old guard.
According to the group Human Rights Watch, all of the people elected last night, with the exception of Clyde Estes and Donnie Moore, were on boards of the tribal companies that purchased the failed Westrock brokerage firm.
Human Rights Watch report cited a New York judge, who found that board members of the Lower Brule Community Development Enterprise, which got the $20-million BIA loan guarantee, personally profited from the money.
An insurance company that bought the guarantee is now suing the feds to get the money back.
The purchase of Westrock with the BIA loan guarantee is under investigation by the Department of Interior’s Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service is also conducting its own investigation.
A separate investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general found the tribe had misspent nearly $1 million dollars during Jandreau’s years in office.
- Boyd Gourneau (286)
- Lewis Grassrope (188)
- Darrell Middletent, Sr. (272)
- Kevin Wright (192)
- Orville “Red” Langdeau, Jr. (285)
- Waylon Grassrope (185)
- John McCauley, Sr. (308)
- Clyde Estes (275)
- Donnie Moore (222)
- Robbie Her Many Horses (205)
- Ben “Bugsy” Thompson, Jr. (166)
- Sonny Ziegler (159)