Following a 43 percent voter turnout during the June 1 Primary Election, the field of 45 Tribal Council candidates has been whittled down to 24 contenders for 12 seats. The top four vote-getters in each community will advance to the Sept. 7 General Election, when two representatives will be chosen from each to sit on Tribal Council.

How they fared

Of the 12 current Tribal Council representatives, nine are running for re-election in this year’s race. The June 1 primary election saw one of the nine fail to advance to the general election, with several other incumbents finishing in weaker positions than they did in 2015. The election came just one week after the controversial impeachment and removal of former Principal Chief Patrick Lambert.

If the results of the June 1 primary elections are any indication, incumbent Tribal Council members could be in trouble come the General Election Sept. 7. 

To say Doyle Lawson has had a full career would be an understatement.

Nowadays, Lawson is regarded as a pillar of the bluegrass world. But, at 73, he still feels as if he’s just getting started, where a never-ending reservoir of creativity and enthusiasm spills out onto the stage each night.

After three full days of testimony and four hours of waiting for a verdict, silence reigned at the Cherokee council house May 25 as Tribal Council convened to deliver its final decision on whether to remove Principal Chief Patrick Lambert from office.

In the three days of testimony that comprised Principal Chief Patrick Lambert’s impeachment hearing, Lambert himself was by far the most prominent witness, spending a total of seven hours on the stand spread over two days. 

Impeachment hearings to consider charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert stretched on for three days last week, with Tribal Council holding four hours of closed-door deliberations before voting to remove Lambert from office. To view the impeachment hearings in their entirety, visit

Following three days of impeachment hearings, Tribal Council deliberated for four hours before returning to vote in open session. Each of the 12 charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert were announced individually, with councilmembers then standing up one by one to cast their vote as guilty, not guilty or abstained.

After six years at the helm of Jackson County Public Schools, Superintendent Mike Murray will be leaving for a new position at Cherokee Central Schools this summer.

During a full day of testimony Monday, May 22, the prosecution against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert made its case that Lambert’s administration has operated on a double standard, with one set of rules for him and his supporters and another set for everybody else. 

• Cherokee council removes Chief Lambert from office

The charges
Tribal members speak

The nine witnesses to take the stand spoke to allegations that Lambert had massively overspent on contracts without proper approval, denied payment for Tribal Council’s legal representation while shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own, and interfered with the Office of Internal Audit’s access to the records it needed to fulfill its function. Allegations also included violations of human resources policies and trading of political favors.

Page 8 of 65
Go to top