Five members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe have so far qualified to be on the April special election ballot for tribal chairman, tribal officials confirmed this week. Among them is the former chairman who resigned earlier this month amid allegations of mismanagement and wrongdoing.
Former Chairman Matthew J. Box resigned Feb. 11, days after his two lead appointed executive officers left their posts.
The leadership upheaval occurred this month as allegations of mismanagement continued to surface after a special election last year to recall Box.
The recall effort failed when too few tribal members took to the polls for the December recall vote. Box, who formerly served as a Tribal Council member, was sworn in as chairman in late 2008.
Also running for the post of tribal chairman are:
b Kevin R. Frost, a Southern Ute tribal member who graduated from the University of Denver with a law degree in 2007.
b Pearl E. Casias, who served on Tribal Council from 1995 to 2004 and was vice chairwoman from 2002 to 2004. Casias also worked as a tribal court judge in the 1970s and 1980s.
b Clement J. Frost, a former chairman who served in the post from 2005 to 2008, when he stepped down.
b Richard Rick L. Jefferson, who served on the Tribal Council from 1987 to 1990 and is a former assistant education director for the tribe and a former executive director for Southern Ute Community Action Programs a nonprofit human-services organization affiliated with the tribe. Jefferson was among a group of tribal members that led the recall effort against Box last year.
Tribal members have planned a meeting Sunday to discuss the April 12 special election. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose building on Ute Road, adjacent to Ute Park.
Tribal Council member Jimmy Newton Jr. is the tribes current acting chairman.