The gaming license of the interim chairman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Wally Dupuis, was temporarily suspended on Wednesday by the Reservation Business Committee (RBC), according to members of the Band. The chairman denies the claim.
Member of the Minnesota Band, Danielle Martineau, said that she was present at the meeting when the motion was passed by the tribe’s governing body. Both Dupuis and Martineau are running for the vacant seat from District I (Cloquet).
After longtime tribal leader Karen Driver resigned in November for a position as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs, Dupuis, who had been serving as the vice-chair, stepped in as the interim chairman.
Martineau told NNC NOW, that Dupuis isn’t the only person being investigated by the RBC, but that four people are allegedly involved in the investigation. According to Martineau, allegations of misappropriation of funds were brought by her to the current tribal council. She says that throughout Thursday the RBC met to investigate the claims. Martineau says that she was present during parts of that meeting. She said that three Black Bear Casino employees, as well as Dupuis, are being investigated by the RBC.
According to Martineau, Dupuis is accused of using a contract the casino has with a Des Moines, Iowa-based printing company to print and mail campaign literature. Several members of the Band say they have been the recipients of campaign literature signed by Dupuis postmarked in Des Moines. Martineau says she presented her concerns to the RBC because she wants a fair campaign.
Dupuis denies any accusations of wrongdoing as well as any action being taken against him or his gaming license.
During Thursday’s meeting, the request was made for a special emergency Tribal Executive Committee meeting, according to Martineau on Friday it could be scheduled for a future date. She is requesting a federal investigation into the matter either by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Interior Department.
The primary election for a District 1 Representative takes place on April 5.