Former Crow chairman decries recall attempt by tribal officials

Thursday, January 31, 2019
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The purpose of this letter is to address the current statements being made by Carlson “Dukie” Goes Ahead, Crow vice chairman, and Shawn Back Bone, vice-secretary, and their current attempt to remove Chairman A.J. Not Afraid and Knute Old Crow, secretary of the Crow Tribe.

I am the former chairman of the Crow Tribe serving from February 2009 through November 2012. Prior to February 2009, I also served a fouryear term as vice chairman from November 2004 through December 2008 under the Carl Venne administration.

During the time that I served as vice chairman of the Executive Branch, I was required to attend Crow legislative quarterly sessions as the Crow Tribe’s 2001 Constitution requires the vice chairman to act as tie breaker in legislative votes that end in a tie.

During the four years I spent at the Legislative Branch, I witnessed Dukie’s untrusting demeanor towards anyone who was in charge or in an authoritative position. At that time, it was the late chairman, Carl Venne, and his staff. Dukie was always argumentative and created a hostile environment at the legislative chambers. He was confrontational and a bully to any of his fellow legislative members who opposed his ideas or position.

I am a firm believer in a good debate, especially those that impact our tribal membership. At the initial debates, I figured Dukie’s questioning was okay and we needed good debate on proposed legislation. However, I would say, it was his demeanor and his negative attitude about how things should be done. He would often say, “this is how we do it at the Pryor School board meetings.” It appeared that he wanted the Crow government to be run like a school board with him as the chairman of the board. He continuously instigated arguments in the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch and anyone else who came to give reports.

As chairman of the finance legislative committee, Duke drafted legislation in an attempt to control the Executive Branch’s finances. His proposed law would have put him in control of all federal programs, which was a clear violation of the Crow Tribe’s Constitution. I vetoed his proposed CLB law and the legislators overrode my veto. I elected to take the case to court for the Crow Court to decide. In the end, the court decided that it was a clear overreach of power by the Legislative Branch and ruled in favor of the Executive Branch.

More recently, in his public speeches at his recall and removal community meetings, he referenced me as a past chairman that he had “differences” with and stated that chairman Not Afraid was like me who acted alone and would not work with the other Executive Branch officials. This statement is not true, as I worked with my fellow Executive Branch officials who reported to work each day and participated in daily Executive Branch responsibilities.

The bottom line is Carlson “Dukie” Goes Ahead should take responsibility for the poor financial decisions he made as Legislative Branch finance committee chairman. He authorized the mass spending of Fiscal Year budgets (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016) including massive loans during the Old Coyote administration (2013-16), which have led to numerous Office of Inspector General investigations and left hundreds of millions of tribal and federal funds unaccounted for.

Dukie was at the wheel approving all this wild spending that has left the Crow Tribe’s finances in the current fiscal condition. This is all true and not made up, as you can review the legislative bills that Dukie sponsored and approved. Take the time to see it in black and white: The OIG investigation report on BIA Transportation funds $14.5 million and the Water Resource settlement project $12.5 million, the Department of Justice-Crow Courts audit and the meth grant $150,000 for questionable costs are a matter of public record.

This is my firsthand account of Dukie in action and his fellow Crow politicians, the same ones who have ruined our Crow Tribe’s good name, reputation and now want to be in control so they can do it again. I, for one, am against this idea.