Stacey Small lost his day in court, but won the votes in a special election.
Small was elected to an open seat on the Chippewa Cree’s tribal council in last week's election.
The Havre Daily received election results this morning showing Small was the top vote-getter out of 13 candidates, winning the seat with 157 votes.
Small could not be reached for comment by deadline this morning.
He was elected to take the place of Bruce Sunchild Sr., former council vice chair, who won a special election July 5 to become council chair.
Sunchild, who was elected back to the council in 2008, took over as interim chair last spring after the previous chair resigned.
Raymond “Jake” Parker Jr. stepped down as chair May 23, one day before pleading guilty in federal court to a charge of embezzling from the tribe. Parker admitted to unauthorized use of a tribal credit card.
In a close race, candidate Donovan Stump just missed taking the victory, with 144 votes to Small’s 157.
Tim Koop Sr. received 114 votes, while Harriet Standing Rock received 90 and 85 voters cast their ballot for candidate Misty “Brooks” Denny.
Gilberta R. Belgarde received 50 votes, while Louis S. “Luke” Parisian received 48 and Wade Colliflower received 41.
Kenny Writing Bird and Luanne Belcourt each took 32 votes, while Donald Goodvoice Meyers received 26, Jesse W. Henderson received 18, and Samuel “Sammy” Camper took 16 votes.
Small had filed a complaint about the Rocky Boy primary election in 2010, when he lost in his bid to advance to the general election. Small said the election board had failed to conduct background checks and a candidate with a felony conviction had improperly been allowed to run.
The election board ruled against his complaint, saying the candidate — who had a felony conviction struck from his record after serving a deferred imposition of sentence — had no record.
Small appealed, but a tribal judge dismissed the case without holding a hearing. Small then appealed that decision, and an appellate judge remanded it back to the courts to hold a hearing.
After a hearing was held, the judge ruled that the groups and people against whom Small had filed the complaint were immune from prosecution and dismissed the complaint.
Stacey Small, 157
Donovan Stump, 144
Tim Koop Sr., 114
Harriet Standing Rock, 90
Misty "Brooks" Denny 85
Gilberta R. Belgarde, 50
Louis S. “Luke” Parisian, 48
Wade Colliflower, 41
Kenny Writing Bird, 32
Luanne Belcourt, 32
Donald Goodvoice Meyers, 26
Jesse W. Henderson, 18
Samuel “Sammy” Camper, 16.