EIC case pushed to April

EIC case pushed to April
(MN File Photo)Pre-trail discovery in alleged charges of embezzlement against former Eufaula Indian Community Officials had yet to be provided by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Attorney General’s Office on Feb. 25. The case is set for further discovery on April 22.

Angel Ellis/Reporter

Attorney expresses concern for clients’ rights

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Former Eufaula Indian Community officials were set for discovery on Feb. 25.  Though the defendants were not required to appear in person , they did attend the hearing which resulted in a motion for further discovery.  The next hearing is set for April 22 at 9:30 a.m.

According to the legal definition, discovery is the process to obtain information before trial through demands for production of documents, depositions of parties and potential witnesses.

‘The theory of broad rights of discovery is that all parties will go to trial with as much knowledge as possible and that neither party should be able to keep secrets from the other,’

So far in the case, there have been two motions for discovery filed. One of the motions filed in Fall of 2018 and a further discovery motion was filed in Jan. The two motions requested audit information and bank statements for accounts associated with EIC.

In response to those motions counsel for the MCN prosecution requested the motion for discovery be carried over to the April docket while the prosecution works to obtain more bank account information.

Counsel for Lydia Anglin, Twanna Susie Deere and Judd Pickering told Judge Bigler that he understood the delays.

“I have been in close communication with the prosecution; they have very legitimate issues,” Defense Attorney Matthew Hall said. “I believe in some instances we have more information.”

MCN Prosecuting Attorney Shelly Harrison told the courts about difficulties in obtaining some of the requested information.

“The only issues we have is on behalf of our clients is rights speedy trial issues,” Hall said. “We have to make sure that we are preserving those rights.”

Bigler heard the updates from both attorneys and set the hearing for further status on April 22.

To date, the case has been in MCN District Court since July 2018.

Complaints filed with the MCN District Court on July 17, 2018 alleged EIC CEO Judd Pickering, Treasurer Twanna Susie Deere, and Office Manager Lydia Anglin stole ‘the Nation’s Funds, Program Income or other Federal Funds.’

The complaints allege Pickering stole $42,517 from community center funds; Anglin, $13,631; and Deere, $6,350.

Following the complaints, MCN Principal Chief Jones signed an executive order July 17, stating EIC failed to submit a required audit for the fiscal year 2017 and that it ‘engaged in improper and corrupt financial transactions.’

An official statement from Floyd’s office said a community member noticed ‘inconsistencies in the finance reports’ and disclosed the information to MCN.

The crimes the officials allegedly committed are punishable by three-year imprisonment and fines not to exceed $15,000, according to the complaints.

The complaints state Pickering ‘did commit crimes within the jurisdiction of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, between on or about the 5th of May, 2016 to on or about the 21st of May 2018.’

Anglin allegedly committed crimes ‘on or about the 1st of August, 2016 to on or about the 21st day of May 2018.’

Deere allegedly committed the offenses ‘between on or about the 1st of October, 2016, to on or about the 21st of October, 2018,’ according to the court documents.

Mvskoke Media will continue to follow the case and provide updates.

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