Bois Forte tribal rep censured for alleged misuse of funds

Tower, Minnesota (AP) 4-08

The Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council has censured a representative for a second time and started a petition to remove him from office.

Mark Drift is accused of misusing tribal funds. In a news release, the tribal council said an investigation revealed Drift used a band credit card to get cash at other tribes’ casinos and failed to reimburse the Band for unauthorized expenses.

Drift did not immediately reply to an e-mail message. A current phone listing for Drift was not found.

According to the tribal council, Drift has not been charged. Investigators with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs are looking into the matter and could file charges.

“It is unfortunate that this incident occurred, but it is fortunate that we had the procedures in place to discover it,” said David Morrison, the tribal council’s secretary-treasurer.

The tribal council ordered Drift to repay the money. It also started a petition calling for Drift’s ouster, which would go through if 20 percent of eligible band member voters living on the reservation sign it.

Drift was censured in October amid allegations that he violated ethical standards by causing a person to feel “oppressed, persecuted, or humiliated.