89.1 WEMU

Tribal Police Official Who Pleaded Guilty To Fraud Can’t Run For Office

Oct 24, 2017

Michigan Supreme Court Building
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A state appeals court says a former tribal police chief who pleaded guilty to fraud charges can’t run for state or local political offices.  The case will now go to the state Supreme Court.

Fred Paquin pleaded guilty seven years ago to mismanaging federal grants while serving as the police chief and elected board member for the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

The state constitution says public officials found guilty of fraud are barred from holding an elected or appointed government office for 20 years.  Paquin was twice denied a chance to run for the Saint Ignace city council

Paquin’s attorney says they will appeal to the state Supreme Court after lower courts ruled that tribes in Michigan are essentially local governments, and their officials are subject to that provision in the state constitution

He says they’re also hoping other tribes will join the lawsuit. 

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org