PEMBROKE — Short the number of members required to conduct business, the Lumbee Tribal Council on Thursday had to reschedule its regular monthly meeting until after the first of the new year.
The meeting will now be held at for 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 2 at the tribal housing complex on N.C. 711, better known as The Turtle. Twelve of the 21 council members showed up for Thursday’s meeting, but 14 are required for the quorum that is needed to conduct business.
The 12 council members present were: Terry Campbell; Louise Mitchell; Robert Chavis; William Maiden; Danita Locklear; Bobby Oxendine; Pearlean Revels; Homer Fields; McDuffie Cummings; Anita Hammonds Blanks; Walter Lowery; and Lesaundri Hunt.
Chairman Paul Brooks, Tribal Administrator Tony Hunt and other top tribal administrators did not attend the meeting.
The meeting was supposed to be the final one before council members elected in November officially take their seats in January.
“This is sad,” Councilman Terry Campbell said. “I smell some hanky-panky going on folks.”
Campbell said that council members should have to answer why they were not at the meeting.
“This is a question that needs to be investigated,” he said.
Eric Locklear, a self-proclaimed community activist, said that the general tribal membership is being hurt by the council and administration’s constant fighting and failure to work together.
‘“Our people are being sacrificed by council members not showing up (for the meeting),” he said.
Locklear said that petitions to recall Chairman Paul Brooks will begin circulating in each of the tribe’s 14 voting districts in January. He proposed earlier this month to recall Brooks and remove and appoint new Supreme Court justices. He also is advocating that the number of members on the Tribal Council be reduced.
Business that was to have been discussed Thursday included a recommendation to freeze all tribal funds and a recommendation to suspend Tony Hunt, the tribe’s administrator, without pay until domestic violence charges against him are resolved. Hunt, who is a Hoke County commissioner, is scheduled to appear in court in Hoke County to answer the charges in January.