Fort Hall voters have recalled ShoshoneBannock Tribal Chairman Marvin Osborne, possibly ending his 13-year tenure atop reservation government.
Friday’s vote was 342-226 for ousting Osborne. Reservation recall elections require a turnout of 465 to be official and are decided by a simple majority.
Osborne said some tribal members petitioned for a recall out of anger after the Fort Hall Business Council recently voted to lay off some employees, even though Osborne was not involved in that decision.
The chairman votes only when the council is deadlocked.
In an open letter in the Feb. 23 edition of Sho-Ban News, Osborne said the layoffs were meant as a temporary fix to the tribes’ “shaky” financial situation. He said the problems resulted from past financial mismanagement and loans to tribal members that were not repaid.
It was the 10th attempt to recall Osborne in 13 years, but it was the first successful effort. The tribes will have to schedule a special election to select a new chairman.