UKB Council reprimands Bunch at meeting

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/08/2020 10:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Joe Bunch
TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band Tribal Council on Jan. 7 reprimanded UKB Chief Joe Bunch following a 6-1/2 hour hearing regarding two articles of impeachment against him.

According to the Tahlequah Daily Press, the UKB Council did not impeach Bunch but instead voted to censure or “reprimand” the chief.

Sequoyah District Rep. Barry Dotson filed the impeachment articles, with 13 total counts, on Nov. 21, the Tahlequah Daily Press reports.

According to the Tahlequah Daily Press, the first impeachment article dealt with events and actions of Bunch’s handling of the accounting department, which began in May 2017, including the hiring and termination of positions, and the delinquency of the 2017 audit.

In the second impeachment article, Bunch was accused of actions deemed as disruptive to the UKB Corporate Board and harassing to board members, according to the Tahlequah Daily Press. Incidences began occurring in December 2016, and some of Bunch’s previous constitutional violations have been overturned by the UKB attorney general, the Tahlequah Daily Press reports.

Both impeachment articles refer to meetings held in November 2019, which dealt with the council’s voting on the reappointment of a corporate board member, according to the Tahlequah Daily Press.

Bunch has led the tribe since May 2016, when the former Chief George Wickliffe was impeached and removed for violating the UKB Constitution. Bunch was then elected to a four-year term, which began in January 2017.

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