PEMBROKE — The Lumbee Tribal Council seemed to suffer a collective case of amnesia Thursday when the topic of sanctions levied against council member Al Locklear was raised.
Some council members appeared not to be able to remember what was said and what action was taken during a special council meeting Tuesday and during a closed-door session Thursday. Both meetings focused on determining if Locklear should be sanctioned for “a combination of actions.”
Council Speaker Bobby Oxendine could not produce a written copy of action taken against Locklear. Councilwoman Anita Hammonds Blanks declined to read or produce a copy of the sanction resolution at the request of Councilman Terry Hunt. Blanks said she didn’t want to talk about it.
The Robesonian got dragged into the fray Thursday after Councilman Corbin Eddings told the board that issues surrounding Locklear should be discussed in public because The Robesonian already had informed the public about Locklear being sanctioned.
“The Robesonian does not make decisions for the council,” Councilwoman Jan Lowery said. “If we want to make a decision, it is our decision and not the decision of The Robesonian.”
After Thursday’s closed session, all Oxendine told tribal members present was that “results from Tuesday will still be carried forward.”
On Tuesday, Locklear, the Tribal Council vice chairman, was stripped of his council leadership positions. The sanctions levied leave him with no council leadership and committee positions, including chairmanship of the council’s Economic Development Committee, Oxendine told The Robesonian. Locklear also is restricted from traveling to conferences and other events as a representative of the Lumbee Tribe.
Locklear has denied resigning from the council. But Oxendine and other sources have confirmed he has submitted a letter of resignation. Locklear sat in his seat and participated in Thursday’s council meeting.
Locklear was first elected to the Tribal Council in 2013. He is serving the first year of his second three-year term.
Locklear’s 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.
In other business, the council on Thursday:
— Recognized the “Lady Lumbees” for winning the Dixie League’s state softball championship for girls ages 12 to 15. Officially named the West Robeson-Pembroke All Stars, the 12-member team will participate in the Dixie League World Series in Sumter, S.C., from July 28 to Aug. 2.
The council donated $1,000 toward the trip. Councilmen Ricky Burnette, Doug Locklear and Bill James Brewington each contributed an additional $100.
— Held the swearing-in ceremony for new members of the Lumbee Supreme Court. The new justices are Landon Everette Moore and Joshua Dale Malcolm.
— Approved the establishment of an educational scholarship fund.
— Approved sending a letter to The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health in support of its “American Indian Colorectal Screening Project.”
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.