Wampanoag Tribe Seal

A date has been set for the recall election of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell and treasurer Gordon Harris.

The special election will take place Sunday, September 15, at the Mashpee Wampanoag Community and Government Center from 3:30 to 4:30 PM for all enrolled tribal citizens. The recall vote will be preceded by a hearing from 2:30 to 3:30 PM.

The petition against Mr. Cromwell stems from a letter of resignation submitted by vice chairman of the council Jesse (Little Doe) Baird earlier this year. Ms. Baird continues to sit on the council despite her letter because, Mr. Cromwell and others argue, the council never accepted her resignation. The organizers of the petition, on the other hand, said her resignation became official upon submitting the letter and Mr. Cromwell is complicit in allowing her to stay on the committee; the petition also calls out Mr. Cromwell for not calling a special election to replace Ms. Baird.

The petition further states that Mr. Cromwell has made more than $1 million from the tribe, with “very little to show for it: no casino, no jobs, and Taunton land mortgaged with no monies to pay the mortgage note.”

The tribe’s financial backer, Genting, has written off the tribe’s casino project as a $500 million loss, although it continues to support the tribe’s efforts on its land bill.

The recall for Mr. Harris states that he has missed a number of meetings. The petition notes that Mr. Harris serves an important role on the lead board, is paid more than $70,000, and his absence from several meetings is a dereliction of duties.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Election Committee in May found that 100 tribal citizens signed the recall petitions, and the committee announced the recall would move forward.

A petition to oust vice chairwoman Baird did not receive the required 100 signatures.

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