Chairman of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Duane Big Eagle Sr., has been convicted on bribery and conspiracy charges for participating in a scheme that paid off tribal officials for opening construction contracts, reported The Daily Republic.
A ring of former tribal officials and contractors have already been convicted in the bribery case, which developed after a 2005 fire devastated a school on the reservation. The tribe then scored a $3.5 million federal contract secured by the U.S. Attorney in Montana to rebuild it.
The Chairman of the tribe for 13 of the past 19 years was charged with accepting bribes from contractors who did business with the tribe. Big Eagle, 61, may face up to 20 years in prison. His lawyer is planning to appeal the verdict.