Mr. Charles W. Shipley
Shipley, Jennings & Champlin
201 West Fifth Street
Received & Provided by,
Cherokee Press Association
Wednesday, May 20, 1998
[For any further information contact:
Charles W. Shipley, phone (918) 582-1720]
Attached is a copy of a fax apparently bearing the date of April 3, 1997 at 2:16 p.m. which purports to be “Orders from the Chief” and give direction to “Jeannie and George” as well as to “Rex Earl.” Presumably these persons are Jennie Battles, Secretary-Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, George Thomas, erstwhile Chief of Staff of the Cherokee Nation, and Rex Earl Starr, the General Counsel of the Cherokee Nation.
“This “two-page memo can not be identified yet, but we plan to take depositions regarding it to get to the bottom of it,” said Chuck Shipley, attorney for Marvin Summerfield and Robin Mayes who have filed a million dollar federal wiretapping suit against numerous individuals associated with the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation in the Federal Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
“This memo references certain “tapes” which I gather are references to the illegally intercepted telephone conversations which are the subject of our lawsuit. You will notice on Page 2 the memo says a copy of ‘the tape’ is in the hands of the ‘Feds.’ This probably refers to the illegal tape that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had obtained last March,” said Shipley.
This document should be compared to the hand written notes which have been identified by George Thomas in his deposition as having been an action outline which he prepared for the Byrd Administration in the spring of 1997. Those handwritten notes are part of this package.
Enclosed is a May 15, 1998 letter from John G. Ghostbear who is counsel to the Cherokee Nation along with Rex Earl Starr in the presently pending case of Pezold vs. Cherokee Nation Industries, pending in the Tulsa County Court before Judge Frizzell. There is a hearing scheduled on this matter at 1:30 p.m. this Friday before Judge Frizzell on the 5th floor of the Tulsa County Courthouse. The letter from Ghostbear objects to the release of the “Orders from the Chief” memo.
Attached are excerpts of Joe Byrd’s deposition and Jennie Battles’ deposition in which each of them acknowledge listening to some or all of an illegally taped conversation between Justice Dwight Birdwell of the Cherokee Nation Judicial Appeals Tribunal and Marvin Summerfield.
It was reported in the Tahlequah Daily Press on May 13, 1998 that Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation General Counsel, Nate Young, had resigned over the wiretapping suit and had said that Chief Byrd was involved.
“We have not yet named Chief Joe Byrd as a defendant in our lawsuit but once we take discovery on this matter, if we find that the April 13, 1997 memo can be identified as having been issued by Chief Joe Byrd. I can guarantee you that we seek leave to amend our lawsuit to add Chief Joe Byrd as a defendant,” said Shipley.
Copy of the Federal wiretapping suit. suit. Case No. 98-CV-0328-B(EA) Filed May 12, 1998 U.S. District Court For The Northern District of Oklahoma…