MCN District Court Judge Stacy Leeds has issued a decision and order in Rep. Travis Scotts civil lawsuit against the MCN National Council.
Judge Leeds has ordered that Rep. Scott be reinstated to all duties as an elected representative of the National Council, including salary and benefits.
In addition, Judge Leeds has ruled that the $50,000 fine levied against Scott is unenforceable and is ordered to be set aside. Judge Leeds did not grant Rep. Scotts request to prohibit the National Council from interfering with his duties as an elected official, siting separation of powers as the justification for the denial.
In the ruling, the court points out that in the National Councils internal rules, only certain offenses can be cause to discipline members.
“The enumerated offenses that are subject to discipline include excessive unexcused absences, harassment of employees, threatening jobs, refusing drug tests, failure to submit required travel paperwork, disorderly behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, inappropriate social media posts, inappropriate workplace relationships, misuse of tribal property, and acceptance of impermissible gifts. None of the enumerated offenses relate to engaging in business with the Nation or other types of financial impropriety or conflicts of interest.”
The decision also points out that the fine issued by the National Council is more punitive than a fine that could be levied in a federal criminal court.
“That amount is greater than the annual salary for National Council members. The fine also exceeds any fine that could be imposed as a result o f a criminal conviction in the Nation’s courts. Federal law imposes a sentencing limitation of three years and/or $15,000 upon conviction of certain crimes. In those instances, defendants are entitled to significant due process protections under federal and Muscogee (Creek) Nation laws, including the right to a jury trial and assistance of counsel.”
Mvskoke Media will have ongoing coverage of this developing story.