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Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe: Special election set for today; investigation started

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Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe: Special election set for today; investigation started
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A panel of judges Aug. 4 upheld a judge's decision that the June 28 Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe secretary/treasurer election was invalid.

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A special election today will decide between Donald "Mick" Finn and Donald "Donnie" Headbird for the position vacated Feb. 8 when former Secretary/Treasurer Michael Bongo was voted out of office.

Finn won the June 28 election by six votes over Headbird, who contested the results, citing irregularities. The panel of judges for the appeal of the July 15 decision ruled that Finn had engaged in electioneering in violation of the election ordinance. Finn appealed the invalidation ruling.

On Sunday, someone inserted letters into counter sales Pioneer newspapers defaming one of the candidates. These tampered newspapers were available in at least one Cass Lake convenience store.

Pioneer management filed a complaint with the Cass County Sheriff's Office that someone inserted special tribal election literature into the newspapers without the consent of Pioneer staff. Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch initiated an investigation Monday afternoon.

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