One of two groups claiming it runs the Meskwaki tribe voted Thursday night to fire the Minneapolis law firm hired by the other group. The power struggle for tribal leadership brought the closure of the Tama casino in May and put 13-hundred people out of work. A petition drive started last month by supporters of the appointed council headed by Homer Bear Junior came to an end with 304 ballots being cast to rescind the contract signed by elected council head Alex Walker with the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney. Only 11 votes were counted in favor of the law firm, prompting Bear Junior to say “The law firm was more popular than Alex Walker’s group. The people have rejected Alex’s law firm.” A spokesman for the Alex Walker group said “The Bear group is not recognized by the State of Iowa, any court of law or any federal administrative agency, and it has no authority to hold any election anytime or anywhere.” He called the election yesterday a complete sham and a publicity stunt that is hurting the tribe more than helping it.
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