Published On: Wed, Jul 15th, 2015

Committee appointed to establish EBCI Code of Ethics

 

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

A committee has been established to develop a Code of Ethics for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  A total of 11 people, with one seat currently vacant, were appointed and approved by Tribal Council on Thursday, July 9 to serve on the Committee.

The following EBCI tribal members were selected to serve on the Committee: Bernice Bottchenbaugh, Big Cove; Lisa Frady, Big Cove; Jody Taylor, Birdtown; Jason Lambert, Birdtown; Trista Welch, Painttown; Jennifer Jackson, Painttown; T.J. Holland, Cherokee County – Snowbird; Kevin Jackson, Wolfetown; Donald Long, Wolfetown; Doris Johnson, Yellowhill; and Johnnie Sue Myers, Yellowhill.  The second community member from the Cherokee County – Snowbird township will be added at the August Tribal Council session.

“This is a big step for the accountability that individuals have been asking for the past 12 years,” said Taylor.  “The committee should work together to produce a detailed document that is equal and impartial to all involved – a document that individuals can rely on when the need arises.  My appointment to this committee is appreciated for I feel I can contribute a lot to this Ethics Committee along with the other members.”

Welch commented, “I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to serve on the Ethics Committee.  Good ethics should be sustained by those who choose to dedicate themselves to public service, and it should be reflected in every decision made and every action taken by that person or government.  I hope this committee will be able to set standards for integrity, responsibility, accountability, and fairness, and help make ethical conduct a top priority in our community.”

The idea for the Code of Ethics began with Ordinance No. 558 (2015), submitted by Wolfetown Rep. Bo Crowe.  That legislation read in part, “The adoption of a code of ethics will help build an ethical culture of doing ‘the right thing’, it will also reduce risk and repercussion and it will establish a commitment to integrity and professional conduct.”

Rep. Crowe submitted his draft of a Code of Ethics with Ord. No. 558, but it was discussed that the Code of Ethics needed further discussion and the idea of forming a Committee to work on a document was brought forth.

Res. No. 613 (2015) was submitted by Rep. Crowe in June and called for the formation of the Committee.  “An effective and comprehensive Code of Ethics should be thoroughly explored, studied and researched and with time given for input from tribal leadership and the community.”

At the time, it was decided that 10 community members, representing the 10 community clubs of the Tribe, would comprise the Committee.  A floor amendment was offered and passed on July 9 that changed the composition of the Committee to two members of each of the six voting townships.

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