Two officers of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe could be ousted from their positions after a planned vote of the full general council.
The tribe's grievance committee decided Monday to call for a special vote for the removal of second chief Katie Birdsong and secretary-treasurer Kay Crow Ellison after reviewing a pair of claims filed against the elected officers.
The first grievance alleges that Birdsong and Ellison “abused their constitutional duties and authority by attempting to reconvene, chair and record” an adjourned meeting of the tribe's general council.
The second grievance alleges that the officers caused undue financial difficulties which resulted in a reduction in force at the tribe's tobacco company and ultimately led to the permanent termination of some employees.
According to a press release issued Thursday by the grievance committee, the five-member panel found that the alleged misconduct “is of a sufficient nature to call for a special general council referendum vote.”
Neither Birdsong nor Ellison responded to the grievance committee or any of its members in regard to the allegations filed against them on Aug. 14, according to tribal statements.
“Because the respondents did not file a written response denying that cause exists to call a special general council, under the Grievance Committee Procedures Ordinance, we must call for a special general council vote on the question of respondents removal,” Thursday's press release stated.
A date for the referendum vote has not been set.
Attempts made Thursday to reach attorneys representing Birdsong and Ellison were not successful.