KESHENA – The former chairman of the Menominee Nation has been expelled from the tribal legislature.
The Menominee Tribal Legislature said in a statement Friday that the former chairman, Gunnar Peters, is suspected of inappropriately acquiring tribal funds. It said Peters is suspected of having requested and received substantial payments and items of value he was not entitled to while serving as chairman, as well as on the Pow Wow Committee and Community Funding Panel the past three years.
The MTL also said it uncovered a suspected scheme by Peters and a former employee before they were able to inappropriately acquire more tribal funds.
The legislature has sent its evidence to Menominee Tribal Police.
“MTL is hopeful that these issues will be resolved and is looking forward to a fresh start in this new year,” a statement read. “We want to thank our tribal members for their patience throughout this process.”
The investigation started last summer, which saw a lot of shake-up in the tribal government, including the suspensions of the tribal administrator, Jonathan Wilber, and administrative planner.
Last summer, Wilber said he believed he was suspended, in part, because he loaned money to Peters to legally defend himself from removal by the legislature.
The chairperson is elected by the legislature, which is elected by tribal citizens.
Peters started his term Feb. 9 before he was removed from office.
The new chairman is Ron Corn Sr.
Report For America corps member based at the Green Bay Press-Gazette covering Native American issues in Wisconsin. He can be reached at 920-228-0437 or [email protected], or on Twitter at @vaisvilas_frank. Please consider supporting journalism that informs our democracy with a tax-deductible gift to this reporting effort at GreenBayPressGazette.com/RFA.