Bob Shiles Staff writer
August 24, 2013
PEMBROKE — Police are still investigating accusations that Tribal Council Speaker Pearlean Revels illegally took financial documents Thursday from the the Tribal Housing Complex office, according to a police incident report obtained by The Robesonian late Friday.
Revels, however, told a reporter that she had contacted the Pembroke Police Department and was told that no charges are going to be filed against her. She also doesn’t deny taking the information.
According to the police report, an officer was told by Patrick Strickland, manager of the tribe’s Energy Department, that he saw Revels grab the financial documents off the desk of Sharon Bell, the tribe’s finance director, and then leave the building. Bell also told the officer said that she saw Revels take the documents and attempted to stop her before she fled the building.
The 2,000 pages of documents were, according to tribal administrators, being processed to be handed over to the Tribal Council under a court agreement recently reached between the tribe’s administration and council.
Revels says she turned the information over to a court judge Thursday night.
“I received a call from a judge informing me that he had received a call from Chairman Paul Brooks stating that I had stolen some papers from the tribal office,” the speaker said in a statement. “He asked if I would consider returning the documents to which I stated that I would bring them to him since it was after 5 p.m. and the tribal offices were closed.”
The judge is Gary Locklear; The Robesonian was unable to confirm he had the information.
Revels said that she saw a copy of the General Ledger on Bell’s desk and “assumed” it was the copy for the Tribal Council. Bell, she said, told her that it was not yet complete.
Revels said she then went to the office of Brooks to discuss the Supreme Court agreement whereby the chairman would provide financial documentation that council members say is needed for them to perform their constitutional responsibility for oversight of tribal financial matters.. She said Brooks became agitated and told her that the council was not going to get anything.
According to her statement, Revels then went back to Bell’s office and picked up the General Ledger that was not yet complete.
“I told her I would come back later for the remainder when it was completed,” she said. “I walked out with the incomplete ledger.”
Revels, who is up for re-election to her District 3 council seat in November, has been a leader among council members who have aggressively pursued the financial records they contend are necessary for them to perform financial oversight. The recently signed agreement between Brooks and the council requires that the chairman turn over certain financial records, including the General Ledger, by Friday of next week.
“The (ledger) belongs to the people,” Revels told The Robesonian.
Revels said that the documents she removed from the tribal office on Thursday are records of income and expenditures of state and federal money.
“As such, these monies are mandated to have clear and transparent reporting to the public,” she said.