NESPELEM - The Colville Business Council voted during Special Session, Nov. 5, on a recommendation put forward by the CBC Rules Committee to suspend Colville Business Council member Virgil ‘Smoker’ Marchand for 60 days without pay in relation to an ethics complaint made against the CBC member.

The resolution, which is available below and in the CBC resolution index, notes, “Councilmember Marchand disclosed confidential, privileged information gained by virtue of holding Council office. This disclosure was in violation of the Council’s Code of Professional Responsibility at Tribal Code sections 1-8-6, 1-8-20(c)(l), and 1-8-20(d)(2), (3). The public disclosure by Councilmember Marchand of confidential, privileged information gained by virtue of holding Council office was not in dispute at the investigative hearing. While Councilmember Marchand did not explicitly intend to commit an ethical violation or to do harm, his conduct nevertheless violated Council’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Also, this violation was an offense to the integrity of Council itself regardless of the impact on, or opinions of, any other individuals who may have been implicated in the disclosure.”

The resolution further notes in addition to the suspension, Marchand is required “to receive in-person certified training on rights to privacy and keeping confidentiality before being permitted to participate in deliberations involving confidential material. Further, he should be required to return to the Colville Business Council any documents currently in his possession of a confidential nature. Further, any additional violations of confidentiality by Councilmember Marchand of the Council’s Code of Professional Responsibility may be acted upon by the Rules Committee via a simple vote, without the process normally afforded in Tribal Code, and are subject to immediate expulsion from the Colville Business Council.”

The resolution also notes Marchand “is personally liable for any financial burden that may be placed on the Colville Confederated Tribes.”

Marchand, who represents the Omak District, was sworn into office in July.

CBC members Joel Boyd, Jack Ferguson, Roger Finley, Andy Joseph Jr., Joe Somday, Richard Swan, Marvin Kheel and Jarred-Michael Erickson voted in favor the recommendation while CBC members Karen Condon, Norma Sanchez, Shar Zacherle, Dustin Best and Marchand voted against the recommendation.

CBC released the investigative report regarding Marchand's ethics complaint, Nov. 10. That release can be read here.

Resolution 2020-637

“WHEREAS, the Rules Committee convened on October 26, 2020 with a quorum present to conduct a formal investigative hearing pursuant to Tribal Code section 1-8-30 into an ethical complaint filed against Councilmember Virgil “Smoker” Marchand, and the Rules Committee having considered documents generated in an initial investigation in support of the complaint, and Councilmember Marchand having been given proper advance notice of the evidence against him, and Councilmember Marchand having been afforded a full and complete opportunity in the investigative hearing to make statements on his own behalf and to introduce evidence in the form of witnesses or documents on his own behalf, the Rules Committee now makes the following written findings of fact based upon evidence produced in the investigative hearing pursuant to Tribal Code section 1-8-30(1): 

Councilmember Marchand disclosed confidential, privileged information gained by virtue of holding Council office. This disclosure was in violation of the Council’s Code of Professional Responsibility at Tribal Code sections 1-8-6, 1-8-20(c)(l), and 1-8-20(d)(2), (3). The public disclosure by Councilmember Marchand of confidential, privileged information gained by virtue of holding Council office was not in dispute at the investigative hearing. While Councilmember Marchand did not explicitly intend to commit an ethical violation or to do harm, his conduct nevertheless violated Council’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Also, this violation was an offense to the integrity of Council itself regardless of the impact on, or opinions of, any other individuals who may have been implicated in the disclosure. 

Having found the facts presented in the investigative hearing do support a finding of unethical conduct, the Rules Committee also makes the following recommendations for disciplinary action to the full Colville Business Council pursuant to Tribal Code section 1-8- 30(1)(1 ): 

Councilmember Marchand should receive a 60 day suspension from his duties as a Councilmember, without pay. Further, he should be required to receive in-person certified training on rights to privacy and keeping confidentiality before being permitted to participate in deliberations involving confidential material. Further, he should be required to return to the Colville Business Council any documents currently in his possession of a confidential nature. Further, any additional violations of confidentiality by Councilmember Marchand of the Council’s Code of Professional Responsibility may be acted upon by the Rules Committee via a simple vote, without the process normally afforded in Tribal Code, and are subject to immediate expulsion from the Colville Business Council. 

A copy of these written findings of fact and recommendations shall be provided to Councilmember Marchand within ten (10) days of the next available Special Session of the Colville Business Council, at which time this matter will be heard pursuant to Tribal Code section 1-8-30(1)(2) The Chairman or designee is to sign all pertinent documents. 

Virgil “Smoker” Marchand is personally liable for any financial burden that may be placed on the Colville Confederated Tribes. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Colville Business Council, meeting in a SPECIAL SESSION this 5th day of November, 2020 acting for and in behalf of the Colville Confederated Tribes, Nespelem Washington, do hereby approve the above recommendation of the Rules Committee. 

The foregoing was duly enacted by the Colville Business Council by a vote of 8 FOR 5 AGAINST O ABSTAINED, under authority contained in Article V, Section l(a) of the Constitution of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, ratified by the Colville Indians February 26, 1938, and approved by the Commissioner of lndian Affairs on April 19, 1938.”

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