After the FBI arrested Cedric Cromwell, who had been chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council since 2009, on Friday last week for his alleged role in a bribery scheme involving plans to build a resort and casino in Taunton, the tribal council voted unanimously to remove Mr. Cromwell from his position. The council then appointed Vice-Chairwoman Jessie (Little Doe) Baird to serve as its acting chairwoman.
While this is clearly a time of unrest and self-reflection for the tribe, it also marks the opening of a positive new chapter for the tribal leadership and, by extension, its relationship with the Town of Mashpee—one that has the potential to become stronger than ever before.
We are heartened by Ms. Baird’s words in a statement earlier this week: “We take the charges brought against Cedric Cromwell very seriously. The tribe’s focus remains on ensuring that our land remains in trust and supporting our tribal sovereignty.”
Tribal council member Brian Weeden added, “I think that it is important for everyone to know that nothing has really changed and we’re still trying to do what we can to protect the tribe and the land in trust. The show goes on with or without [Mr. Cromwell].”
We look forward to covering this new chapter in the tribe’s history.