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CBC expels member of business council

 


The Colville Business Council Friday expelled one of its 14 members on a split vote just before elections set for this Saturday.

Following an investigative hearing, the CBC expelled Ricky Gabriel with a 9-4 vote, citing ethics violations, according to a press release from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

The expulsion took effect immediately.

The CBC said it found that Gabriel had violated three sections of its Code of Professional Responsibility, including:

• Use of the council member’s position “to obtain financial gain or anything of substantial value for the private benefit of himself or herself or his or her immediate family, or for an organization with which he or she is associated.”

• Voting on or influencing legislation “in Committee session or Council session, where the Council Member has a personal or family interest which is in conflict with the proper discharge of Council duties.”

• Using or attempting to use “improper means to influence a tribal agency, board, commission, Tribal Court, the Administrative Law Judge, or department.”

The charges stemmed from Gabriel’s failure to make loan payments, a subject aired in a special council meeting Friday after an outside investigator submitted a report. The hearing was streamed live on the internet.

“I’m no different than lots of tribal members going through the same thing,” Gabriel said at the hearing.

He said he had no confidence in the investigator’s report, which he said was informed by biased directions.

He said at the hearing it was still his intention to pay the full debt, regardless of what the council would decide Friday.

“I’m going to be always representing the tribe out there somewhere,” he said, “whether I’m on the council or not.”

Gabriel has been challenged by Rodney Cawston in Saturday’s election.

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