A Colville Confederated Tribes judge has temporarily blocked the tribal council’s dismissal of Lou Stone as executive director of the tribal government.
Judge Mary Wynne scheduled a hearing next Friday to determine whether Stone should be reinstated.
Wynne also will consider whether four council members should be prohibited from participating in any further action against Stone because of alleged conflicts of interest.
In addition, Wynne will decide whether the council should be prohibited from employing Gene Nicholson as acting director. Stone says Nicholson has a conflict of interest because he is the Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent for the Colville Indian Reservation.
Stone claims four council members have conflicts because they have relatives or friends whom he tried to fire or who were passed over for the $67,000-a-year director’s position. He attempted to fire a half-dozen department heads and several “holistic resource educators” shortly after his appointment in November.
The council overrode Stone’s action but decided at the time to retain him. On Feb. 5, however, the council voted to fire the 48-year-old manager before he could complete the three-month probationary period of his two-year contract.
Stone contends the action was invalid because neither the chairman nor the vice chairman was present, as required by the tribal bylaws.
Efforts to reach a tribal spokesman for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.