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Grand Chief Clearsky removed from duties

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Murray Clearsky has been accused of taking $10,000 of SCO funds for a gambling excursion at a Minnesota casino and amusement part.

JESSICA BURTNICK / FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Murray Clearsky has been accused of taking $10,000 of SCO funds for a gambling excursion at a Minnesota casino and amusement part.

A high-ranking source within the Southern Assembly of Chiefs Organization has confirmed that Grand Chief Murray Clearsky has been relieved of his duties.

Confirmation came following a special chiefs' assembly meeting today to address allegations of inappropriate spending that had been made against Clearsky, who was accused of taking $10,000 of SCO funds for a gambling excursion at a Minnesota casino and amusement park.

"Grand Chief Clearsky has lost the vote of non-confidence," one chief told the Free Press, on condition of anonymity. "He has been removed from office."

Earlier this month, federal officials demanded the SCO address the allegations.

"Any misuse of taxpayers' dollars is entirely inappropriate and we urge the executive chiefs to immediately address these spending allegations," said the statement from the office of Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt. "First Nations chiefs, councils and organizations are elected officials and thus are also accountable to their members," the statement said.

Chief Morris Swan Shannacappo, chairman of the SCO executive committee, could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, Clearsky’s cellphone line was out of service today.

History

Updated on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 5:17 PM CDT: adds quote from a chief

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