Lumbee Tribal Council fires tribe's chief administrator

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Shambaugh, Jaclyn. "Lumbee Tribal Council fires tribe's chief administrator." Fayetteville Observer. March 25, 2011.


The chief administrator was fired on Thursday March 24, 2011. This is after a yearlong feud that even reached the Lumbee Supreme Court.

Rose Marie Lowry-Townsend was hired in 2010 by Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett. The battle between the chairman and the council has been heating up, as Swett refused to allow the council to review tribal consulting contracts and some employment agreements.

In February, the Lumbee Supreme court ruled that the tribal council had a constitutional right to review all contracts. On March 8, 2011, the council's finance committee recommended that the contract be terminated effective April 30 and that the council ask the federal government to freeze funding to the tribe's housing program.

Tribal Speaker Steve Sampson said that the voting, which terminated Lowry-Townsend, was effective immediately.

The council, which had obtained a copy of her contract, said it had agreed to pay a chief administrator between $96,000 and $106,000 a year. According to council officials, Lowry-Townsend's contract exceeded that amount, by how much, they didn't say Thursday.

"No consultant or administrator can be employed in any capacity by the chairman without the approval or confirmation of the Lumbee Tribal Council," Councilwoman Pearlean Revels said as she read the recommendation.

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