Thursday, March 6, 2014
NESPELEM The Colville Business Council has expelled an Omak District councilman from the tribe’s governing body.
Benjamin E. “Benny” Marchand Jr. was removed from the council for violating council ethics for 18 counts of using his tribal credit card in violation of the council’s credit card policy.
The council Rules Committee investigated the allegations and had a hearing on the matter, council Chairman Michael Finley said.
The committee recommended a two-week suspension and restitution.
Nespelem Councilman Ricky Gabriel instead moved to expel Marchand rather than suspend him.
The amendment and resulting resolution passed on identical 10-3 votes, with Omak District council members Marchand, John Sirois and N. Lynn Palmanteer-Holder voting against.
Marchand was appointed to the council after the June 2012 resignation of Ferdinand Louie. Marchand won election to a two-year term in 2013.
The vacancy is the second from the Omak District in the past two weeks. Ernest “Sneena” Brooks III resigned after a Feb. 14 arrest in Idaho on an allegation of rape.
His position was filled Thursday morning by Richard Tonasket, who voted for expulsion.
Finley, as chairman, did not vote.