Lumbee chairman Swett says tribal administrator will remain in job

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"Lumbee chairman Swett says tribal administrator will remain in job." Fayetteville Observer. May 20, 2011.


After a year of struggle between the Lumbee Tribal Council and Chairman Purnell Swett, the decision was made to fire the tribe's chief administator.

The Lumbee Tribal Council voted Thursday, March 24, 2011 to terminate Rose Marie Lowry-Townsend.

However, Swett claims that only he has the power to fire the tribal administrator. He cited a clause in the constitution that says the chairman nominates the tribal administrator, subject to confirmation by the Tribal Council.

"The tribal administrator can be removed by the same process," the constitution states.

The chief administrator should be paid between  $96,000 and $106,000 a year. Lowry-Townsend's contract exceeded that amount.

In April 2011, the Lumbee Supreme Court ruled that the tribal chairman had to release the contract information. When Swett refused, the Tribal Council voted to ask the federal government to withhold the $15 million it gives to the tribe to run its housing program. No decision has been made on that issue as of Saturday March 26, 2011.

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