Sunday, August 9, 2015

Charges dropped against Passamaquoddy elder who tried to recall tribal leadership

In Friday's Portland Press Herald I had an update on the story of the Passamaquoddy elder and tribal councilor who organized recall petitions against a chief and vice chief and was led away in handcuffs.

Last week, I wrote about the story of Mary Creighton, 72, who organized the recall, only to be arrested and recalled herself. The situation was illustrative of the legal vacuum that exists in regards to "internal tribal matters" like elections, so long as the Maine tribe lacks a constitution.

The new development: the county district attorney has dropped charges of aggravated forgery (allegedly involving recall petition signatures). Here's an excerpt:

Creighton’s attorney, Steve Smith of Lipman and Katz, said prosecutors dismissed the case because their witnesses were not cooperating. “We are pleased that the Washington County prosecutors have seen the justice in dropping what is purely a political case against Ms. Creighton,” Smith said. “It’s safe to say there is no enthusiasm for this case.”
Creighton has no way of challenging her recall, which she said wasn't conducted properly, but she says she intends to sue tribal leaders for defamation. Pleasant Point Chief Fred Moore declined to comment.

For more background on the Passamaquoddy, consider reading "Unsettled," the Press Herald series that ran last summer, and which is also available as an ebook.

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