- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

HORTON, Kan. (AP) - Two former officials of the Kickapoo Tribal Council have responded to a lawsuit accusing them of misleading the council into passing an unbalanced budget.

In a formal response filed Tuesday, former tribal chairman Clifford “Steve” Cadue claims the lawsuit is a political stunt by current chairman Lester Randall ahead of an upcoming tribal election. Randall filed the lawsuit in tribal court last month against Cadue, accusing him of committing financial wrongdoing and falsifying meeting minutes, the Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/1OhAQYc ) reported.

Former tribal treasurer Bobbi Darnell, who’s also named in the lawsuit, responded to the claims against her as well. Randall accuses her of failing to notify council members of a revenue shortfall and failing to pass a balanced budget.

Randall claims the tribe’s 2014 budget was filled with inflated figures and was fraudulently adopted. His lawsuit contends that both knew about declining revenues but they failed to make budget cuts.

Cadue and Darnell argue that the claims are baseless and wrongfully assign criminal conduct to them. Their motions urge the tribal court to dismiss the lawsuit and to award them an unspecified amount for defamation.

“It is itself fraudulent and injurious that Randall made this for political reasons related to the upcoming Kickapoo tribal election,” the motions said.

Cadue and Darnell also argue in their motions that Randall filed the lawsuit against them on behalf of himself, without approval from the tribal council and the tribe’s attorney, Amelia Holmes.

Randall denies the allegations that his actions were politically motivated and that he filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself.

“There is no political motivation. They clearly violated our budget ordinance,” he said. “The tribal council is the one that authorized me to file on the tribe’s behalf.”

Randall also argues that Cadue’s formal response doesn’t address the lawsuit’s complaints over the unbalanced budget.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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