BREAKING: CNB board puts CEO on administrative leave
By JAMI CUSTER Reporter CATOOSA, Okla. – In a special meeting on March 2, the Cherokee Nation Businesses board of directors voted unanimously to place CEO David Stewart on administrative leave for 30 days, effective immediately. Taking over for Stewart as interim CEO is CNB Executive Vice President Shawn Slaton. After the meeting, CNB Chairman Harold Ray Hart said the board placed Stewart on administrative leave to allow lawyers to come to an agreement, but did not specify what that agreement entailed. According to his CNB biography, Stewart began his career with the Cherokee Nation in 2001 when he was named CEO of Cherokee Nation Industries, a wholly owned corporation of the CN based in Stilwell that performs manufacturing and personnel contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense and other major customers. Stewart became CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, now Cherokee Nation Entertainment, on May 15, 2002. While CNE CEO, he oversaw the company that manages and operates the gaming, retail, hospitality and entertainment enterprises of the tribe. According to the bio, under Stewart’s leadership CNE experienced tremendous growth, including the construction of Oklahoma’s first resort gaming destination. The bio also states that Stewart was one of the lead negotiators with the Oklahoma government for the state-tribal gaming compact, which allows for Class III or compact gaming for Oklahoma’s Indian tribes. He took over as CNB CEO after former CEO Brad Carson stepped down in December 2008. All of the tribe’s business entities, including CNI and CNE, operate under CNB. Stewart earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Oklahoma State University in 1978 and 1977, respectively. He was certified in Oklahoma as a certified public accountant in 1978.