PEMBROKE — Al Locklear has officially resigned his seat on the Lumbee Tribal Council, but it does not take effect until January.
Sheila Beck, chairman of the tribe’s Board of Elections, confirmed receipt of Locklear’s letter of resignation. She said it has not been determined yet how his council seat, which would not normally be up for election for two more years, will be filled.
“This is different than when a term is up. His seat is not officially vacant until the resignation is effective,” Beck said. “Our constitution says that a special election will be held once a seat is vacant.”
It will be up to the full Elections Board to decide how the special election will be handled, Beck said. The board will hold its next meeting on Tuesday.
Locklear and Councilman LeSaundri Hunt currently represent District 3, which includes Lumberton, West Howellsville and Clybourn Pines.
Locklear is serving the first year of his second three-year term.
During a called emergency meeting, the Tribal Council on July 18 stripped Locklear of his council leadership positions, including as council’s vice chairman and chairman of the council’s Economic Development Committee. The sanctions levied left him with no council leadership and committee positions and prohibited him from traveling to conferences and other events as a representative of the Lumbee Tribe.
Council members again voted on Thursday during their regular monthly meeting to uphold the sanctions against Locklear.
Locklear will continue to serve on the council and maintain his voting power until his resignation becomes effective.
The sanctions apparently stem from a misdemeanor “battery” conviction in Las Vegas while on tribal business. He also was charged with driving while impaired in South Carolina, but court records show he was guilty of the lesser charge of careless operation of a vehicle.
Seven seats on the 21-member council will be filled during the Nov. 14 election.
These districts and those who currently hold these seats include: District 2, Back Swamp, Fairmont and Smyrna, Terry Hunt; District 3, Lumberton, West Howellsville and Clybourn Pines, LeSaundri Hunt; District 5, Oxendine and Prospect, Jarrod Lowery; District 6, Raft Swamp and North Pembroke, Douglas Locklear Jr.; District 7, South Pembroke and Union, Bill James Brewington; District 11, Hoke County, Frank Cooper; and District 12, Scotland County, Maxton and Alfordsville, Shelley Strickland.
Terry Hunt and LeSaundri Hunt are ineligible to seek re-election. The tribe’s constitution prohibits an elected official from serving more than two consecutive three-year terms.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.