Lumbee court asked to review contract

Record Number: 
BLOG004
Citation: 

Shiles, Bob. "Lumbee court asked to review contract." News and Observer. April 24, 2011.

Annotation: 

The speaker of the Lumbee Tribal Council has petitioned the tribe's Supreme Court to rule on the legality of the contract between the tribe and Tribal Administrator Rose Marie Lowry-Townsend. Steve Sampson is the voice for the Tribal Council.

The members of the Tribal Council agree that the Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett acted beyond the bounds of his constitutional authority. Samson confirms that the council originally hired Lowry-Townsend for one year at a salary of $96,000 to $106,000.

After several months of denied access, the modifications to the contract were revealed. The modifications were not approved by the council and included an automatic two-year extension and many bonuses at the tribal chairman's discretion.

"I filed this petition to get the Supreme Court to declare as null and void all the contract provisions not authorized by the council," Sampson said. "Our constitution grants the Tribal Council authority to approve the hiring of a tribal administrator. The council, not the chairman, also must confirm any changes and modifications to a tribal administrator's contract."

This is the second time this year that Swett and the Tribal Council have ended up in the Lumbee Supreme Court. The first was  a legal battle over the council's authority to review contracts and other financial information. The contracts were released to the council.

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