LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE
Defendants, Plaintiffs state and allege as follows:
1. That Burton “Luke” Wilson is the duly elected District 1 Representative, (Dist. 1 Rep).
2. That Lyman L. Losh is the duly elected Dist. 2 Rep.
3. That Richard Robinson Jr., was the duly elected Dist. 3 Rep. through July 2, 2004 and remains a current employee of the LLRBC.
4. That George Goggleye is the duly elected Chairman officially seated July 2, 2004.
5. That Donald “Mick” Finn is the duly elected Dist. 3 Rep. officially seated July 2, 2004.
6. That The Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee (LLRBC) a/k/a as the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) is the local reservation band government.
7. That Michael Garbow has served as legal counsel for the above-named co-Defendants privately and is now in the employ of the LLRBC as Tribal Attorney.
8. That Sally Morrison is/was again in the employ of the LLRBC as Interim Executive Director.
9. That John Wind has been employed by the LLRBC and is now the Assistant Chief of the Leech Lake Tribal Police.
That Rodney White is again in the employ of
the LLRBC now as
Tribal Referral Director.
That Robert Goggleye, Veldon Baird, et al
have filed as an open group for judicial
and economy because all Plaintiffs were all long-term,
governmental employees of the LLBO and/or Business Corporation and each
Plaintiff will file the appropriate individual affidavits.
12. That this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter because the matters involve Leech Lake Reservation employees, many of whom are “Band members” and “members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe” (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Judicial Code, Title I, Part 2, Section 1(B)(1)) or “persons whose [employment] actions involve or affect the Band, or its members, through commercial dealings, contacts, leases, or other arrangements . (Id. at (4)).
13. That this Court has jurisdiction over these claims because they are matters “within the power and authority of the Leech Lake Band including controversies arising out of the Constitution of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Bylaws, statutes, ordinances, resolutions, and codes enacted by the Reservation Tribal Council . . .” (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Judicial Code, Title I, Part 2, Section 1(C)(1)).
14. That this Court has jurisdiction over these claims because they are “civil causes of action arising at common law including, without limitation, all contract claims (whether the contract at issue is written or oral or existing at law), all tort claims (regardless of the nature), all property claims (regardless of the nature), all insurance claims, and all claims based on commercial dealings with the Band, its agencies, subentities . . .” (Id. at (2)).
15. That “the jurisdiction invoked by this code over any person, cause of action, or subject shall be concurrent with any valid jurisdiction over the same of the courts of the United States, any state, or any political subdivision thereof . . .” (Judicial Code, Title I, Part 2, Section 1(D)).
16. That this Court has jurisdiction under the Constitutions of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and United States as well as the Indian Civil Rights Act.
That prosecution claims under 42 U.S.C.
§1981 et. seq., while analogized to federal criminal statutes, which contain
provisions for powers of arrest, imprisonment and prosecution by
officers, should be subject to the reserved, inherent criminal
jurisdiction of this Tribal Court.
18. On June 8, 2004, general elections for the six Minnesota Chippewa Tribal (MCT) reservations were held for the respective Reservation Business Committee positions of Chairman and Dist. 3 Rep.
19. On June 9, 2004, the results of the general election were posted, resulting in the election of Defendants Goggleye and Finn to the LLRBC.
20. On or before June 9, 2004 Defendants conspired and took actions in furtherance to deprive Plaintiffs of their fundamental civil rights and property interests in employment inter alia and willfully and maliciously injured Plaintiff employees in their person, property, profession and livelihood by damaging reputation and willfully causing the loss of wages and associated benefits of tribal governmental employment.
21. That on or about June 9, 2004, Defendants met with lame duck Chairman Peter D. White to negotiate a pay/severance package for his resignation.
22. That on or before the morning of June 10, 2004 Defendants Wilson, Losh and Robinson by and through their counsel Defendant Garbow, solicited and subsequently received an Emergency Ex Parte Order against Secretary-Treasurer Arthur LaRose with Leech Lake Tribal Court Judge Fineday with regard to the matter entitled LLBO; Wilson v LaRose CV-04-108, for the express purpose of taking control of the Accounting department and financial information, due to Defendants’ alleging election tampering, vote buying and fear of destruction of evidence.
23. That on June 10, 2004 Defendants Wilson, Losh and Robinson executed termination memorandums to Plaintiffs Frank Bibeau and Veldon Baird.
24. That on June 10, 2004 Defendant Wilson did call the Tribal Police to request police “officers presence during removal” at the “Legal Department”, which call was responded to by the Assistant Tribal Police Chief John Wind and a backup officer. (See copy of Initial Complaint Report No. 20044-03362 attached to Aff. of Frank Bibeau as Exhibit FB 2).
25. That on June 10, 2004, Defendant Wilson with the aid, protection and escort of Assistant Leech Lake Tribal Police Chief John Wind and/or a second officer did serve the above-mentioned Judge Fineday Order on then Tribal Attorney Frank Bibeau and the Controller Veldon Baird.
26. That on June 10, 2004, Defendant Wilson with the aid, protection and escort of Assistant Leech Lake Tribal Police Chief John Wind and a second officer did personally search attorney Bibeau’s personal effects and did seize and hold personal property, files and other valuables without consent during the removal from employment.
27. That the above-mentioned Judge Fineday Order contains no directive, warrant or other lawful authority for police involvement with regard to employees’ terminations or removals.
28. That on June 10, 2004, Defendant Wilson (while Assistant Leech Lake Tribal Police Chief John Wind and another officer remained) did call other Defendants to come and spectate to make public ridicule of Plaintiff Bibeau’s termination, packing and removal by Defendants from the Legal Department building.
29. That on or about June 13, 2004, Plaintiffs Baird and Bibeau did request an appeal of their terminations stating that they were “not provided any due process under the LLBO Human Resource Policies and Procedures. . .” (See e.g. copy of letter to Kari Demo, Employee Relations attached to Aff. of Frank Bibeau as Exhibit FB 3).
30. That on June 14, 2004 now “Tribal Attorney” Garbow responded in part to Plaintiffs, writing that “the Leech Lake Tribal Council has the right to terminate your employment in accordance with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Personnel Policies. Therefore, the Tribal Council voted to terminate your employment by majority vote which means you have no appeal rights.” (See e.g. copy of Defendant Garbow’s letter attached to Aff. of Frank Bibeau as Exhibit FB 4).
31. That Defendants did similarly treat Plaintiff Veldon Baird by removing him with the presence of Tribal Police and by denying Baird’s appeal to this termination under the LLBO Human Resources Policies and Procedures. (See Affidavit of Veldon Baird and his response letter of denial from Defendant Garbow attached as Exhibit VB 1).
32. That Defendants did promptly self-deal tribal government employment to co-Defendants and others.
33. That Defendants’ open and notorious actions of terminations and defamation against employee Plaintiffs sent a chill of intimidation to remaining LLBO employees, fearing who next Defendants might focus their discriminatory and invidious animus towards, for any perceived support of or association with resigned Chairman White and/or then sitting Secretary-Treasurer LaRose, the Business Corporation or the Shingobee/100 Homes projects.
34. That in particular, co-Plaintiffs Richard Jones, Carrie Kolodji and Roxanne LaRose and possibly others did voluntarily resign, fearing similar defamation and/or other retaliation, in exchange for receiving uncontested Unemployment Insurance benefits. (Affs. to follow as appropriate).
35. That on June 14, 2004, Secretary-Treasurer LaRose did issue a Memo to Band members with copies to the then, three elected Defendants, expressing opposition to their illegal actions regarding terminations. (See copy attached as Exhibit C 1).
36. That on June 15, 2004, Secretary-Treasurer LaRose did issue a Memo to Norman DesChampe, MCT (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe) President expressing his concern about the then three, elected Defendants “Appointing Burton “Luke” Wilson Acting Chairman” in violation of the MCT Constitution and governing bylaws known as Ordinance No. 1. (See copy attached as Exhibit C 2).
37. That later on June 15, 2004, Norman DesChampe, MCT President did issue a response to the entire Leech Lake Tribal Council (LLRBC) to express his concern “that Secretary-Treasurer LaRose appears to be under similar restraint by reason of court order sought and received by the District Representatives [on June 10, 2004, CV-04-108] . . . divested of his rights and privileges as an elected official . . . .” (See copy attached as Exhibit C 3).
38. That on June 22, 2004, a follow-up hearing with both parties present for the above matter was held and Defendants herein failed to provide any proof or affidavits of vote buying or election tampering as previously directed by the Tribal Court on June 10, 2004.
39. That as part of the hearing, Judge Fineday had to orally direct and clarify by Order to Defendants herein that Secretary-Treasurer LaRose did have the right to withhold his signature from any rogue RBC disbursements he deemed, due to allegations of secret disbursements by Defendants against the Secretary-Treasurer’s attempts to review. (See Order by Honorable Anita Fineday, CV-04-108, p. 3, Item 8., Acting Chairman Wilson’s memorandum dated June 17, 2004 to Burton Howard attached as Exhibit C 4).
40. That on June 24, 2004, the then three, elected Defendant Representatives under guise of having an “Acting Chairman” in Defendant Wilson and with the direct aid and support of Defendant attorney Garbow continued to take additional actions in furtherance of Defendants’ conspiracy by arbitrarily, involuntarily terminating, laying off and/or transferring various Business Corporation employees under a broad cloud of retaliation and defamation, causing the loss of wages and associated benefits of tribal governmental employment. (See e.g. Plaintiffs’ Affs. Exhibits BG 1, WS 1).
41. That Defendants did again use the Tribal Police for the mass terminations on June 24, 2004, but this time the Tribal Police were watching and waiting in the parking lot of the Business Corporation, thereby adding to the spectacle and intimidation.
42. That on June 28, 2004 Secretary-Treasurer LaRose did again attempt to exercise his re-affirmed, Court ordered rights of office only to be repelled by Interim Legal Director Garbow again. (See copy of Memorandum dated June 30, 2004 attached as Exhibit C 6).
43. That Defendants did similarly treat Plaintiffs Robert Goggleye, Veldon Baird, Frank Bibeau, Wallace Storbakken, Angie Wade, Bruce Johnson and others similarly situated, by attempting to wrongfully deny/prevent Unemployment Insurance benefits.
44. That Defendants did promptly self-deal or save tribal employment positions for co-Defendants and/or other favored cronies.
45. That Defendants’ open and notorious actions of terminations and defamation against employee Plaintiffs and others, continues to send a broad chill of intimidation and message to LLBO employees to fear who Defendants may next assume a discriminatory and/or invidious animus against them for any perceived association with or supporting by vote of resigned Chairman White and/or then sitting Secretary-Treasurer LaRose.
46. That various Defendants have since been found by the Tribal Court to have violated the civil rights of now removed Secretary-Treasurer LaRose in a variety of manners including not serving LaRose with the actual notice of charges and evidence until after the Removal Hearing began and denying LaRose’s candidacy unconstitutionally. (See Order of August 29, 2004, CV-03-81, p. 8, where “Attorney Garbow admitted during the teleconference [August 27, 2004] . . . that to the best of his knowledge” LaRose did not receive “the charges against him until after the July 30, 2004 hearing before the RBC began.”).
47. That the Defendants openly defied the Tribal Court’s Order for more than a month, issuing press releases about their unlawful stand and then proceeded in defiance with Special Elections where Defendant Wilson became a candidate for Secretary-Treasurer. (See press Release of August 31, 2004 by Defendant Chairman Goggleye attached to Aff. of Frank Bibeau as Exhibit FB 6).
48. That in a subsequent decision in CV-03-81 dated September 27, 2004 the Tribal Court clearly explained the types of RBC actions protected by sovereign immunity and distinguished when an official has “acted outside the scope of his authority” thereby “making him liable to suit.” (See Decision & Order at p. 9).
49. That during the above-noted Special Election several Defendants named herein were reported as having tampered with the Election Board members in a September 24, 2004 hearing in a matter entitled Jackson et al v LLRBC et al in CV-04-113.
50. That in particular, the Court noted that the Election Board Plaintiffs in Jackson (like Plaintiffs herein) “were not given prior notice of their removal and were removed from their offices under police escort. Additionally, it appears that in response to a call from Sally Morrison, Interim Executive Director, a reporter from the Bemidji Pioneer was present to photograph Plaintiffs being removed from their offices.” (See Decision & Order of October 22, 2004, Memorandum).
51. That the above cited Order noted “there was also testimony that Candidate Burton “Luke” Wilson had improperly contacted election board members by telephone at their homes,” which was uncontested by Defendant Wilson, who was present and available to testify for the entire hearing on September 24, 2004. (See Aff. of Robert Goggleye Items 24 and 25).
52. That Defendants have also engaged in further defamatory and financially punitive actions against Plaintiffs attempting to wrongfully deny Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to many Plaintiffs (and others similarly situated). However, all of the Plaintiffs UI claims appealed by the LLRBC found Plaintiffs were “discharged for reasons other than misconduct” by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. (See e.g. Mn/DEED Unemployment Insurance appeal determinations for Plaintiffs attached to Plaintiffs’ Affs. as Exhibits BG 3, VB 2, FB 7 and WS 3).
53. That Defendants have issued open letters for publication in the print news/media and the workplace of the LLBO offices to further defame Plaintiffs and perpetuate fear and intimidation in the workplace.
That Defendants continue to demonstrate a
pattern of willful
disdain and contempt for the significant and fundamental civil rights
Plaintiffs (and others similarly situated). Consequently,
Plaintiffs herein allege that the Defendants
and omissions are ultra vires and must
be restrained and prevented to restore the rule of law and fundamental
principles of fairness and due process as contemplated by the Indian
Rights Act (ICRA) codified at 25 U.S.C. 1302 and federal civil rights
codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1981 et. seq.,
COUNT 1 – 42 U.S.C. §1981 Equal Rights Under the Law
55. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-54.
56. That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive and injure Plaintiffs in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1981 Equal Rights Under the Law which provides for (a) “the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property”, (b) “the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual relationship” which (c) “rights protected by this section are protected against impairment by nongovernmental discrimination and impairment under color of [governmental] law.”
That relief is appropriate and warranted to
wrongful deprivation of employment property interests and civil rights
Plaintiffs, as well as compensation for injuries by Defendants under 42
§1983 Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights, which provides in
“every person who, under color of [law] . . . subjected citizens . . .
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured in the
Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an
law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. . .”
COUNT II – 42 U.S.C. §1985(3)
58. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-57.
59. That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive, interfere and injure Plaintiffs in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1985(3) which provides in part that “if two or more persons . . . conspire . . . for the purposes depriving any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws, or for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of any [dependant sovereign government] from giving or securing to all persons within [such sovereign government’s jurisdiction] the equal protection of the laws; or if two or more persons conspire to prevent by . . . intimidation . . . any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner, toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person [for public office] . . . or injure any citizen in person or property on account of such support or advocacy” and that “any act in furtherance . . . whereby another is injured in his person or property, or deprived of having or exercising any right or privilege of a citizen . . ., the party so injured or deprived may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by such injury or deprivation, against any one or more if the conspirators.”
60. That Plaintiffs allege that the elected Defendants and legal counsel Garbow did conspire for the purpose of wrongfully terminating Plaintiffs of their long-term, non-probationary LLBO governmental employment, in violation of official LLBO human resource policies and procedures, the MCT and US Constitutions and the ICRA.
61. That Defendants have as their goal to send a broad chill of intimidation to other employees of LLBO, to fear who Defendants may next assume and target discrimination, retaliation and/or invidious animus towards for any perceived association with or support by vote of resigned Chairman White and/or then sitting Secretary-Treasurer LaRose; thereby increasing Defendants ability to retain political and financial control over who receives reservation program services (and the continued ability to deprive, intimidate and appoint cronies).
62. That Defendants have committed acts in furtherance of their conspiracy which include:
a. Letters from Defendant Attorney Garbow responding to Plaintiffs’ letters requesting appeal of termination of employment and subsequent denial of due process rights. (e.g. Exhibits VB 1, FB 4 and WS 2 attached to Affs. of Plaintiffs Baird, Bibeau and Storbakken respectively).
b. Termination memos by the then, three elected District Representative Defendants. (e.g. Exhibits BG 1, FB 1 and WS 1 attached to Affs. of Plaintiffs Goggleye, Bibeau and Storbakken).
c. Unlawful use of Tribal Police to intimidate, search, seize, and hold personal property and increase injury to persons’ in their livelihood and possession. (See Tribal Police Initial Complaint Report No. 20044-03362 attached Aff. of Frank Bibeau as Exhibit FB 2).
d. Denying band members’ rights of candidacy under color of band law for anyone whom Defendants allege/name are “under investigation”. (See LLRBC Resolution No. 05-32 attached as Exhibit C 7).
e. Using employee terminations as opportunities to call police and/or spectators to publicly humiliate and maliciously defame Plaintiffs (and others similarly situated). (See Plaintiffs’ Affs. items VB at 14, FB at 12 and WS at 8).
f. Using Unemployment Insurance appeal hearings to provide false and misleading testimony to further maliciously defame Plaintiffs in their profession and in an attempt to add punitive financial injury and hardship by attempting to wrongfully deny unemployment benefits, which defamation and intimidation becomes known to third parties in the communities and serves to further intimidate others similarly situated.
g. Tampering with the first Special Election of 2004, wrongfully excluding candidates for office, Defendant “Wilson . . . improperly contacted election board members by telephone at their homes”, defying Tribal Court orders and canceling the Special Election to prevent Defendant Wilson for losing his elected position).
h. Continuing to maliciously defame Defendants to perpetuate intimidation in the reservation communities and LLBO workplaces.
63. That Defendants have defamed, injured and harmed Plaintiffs in their profession and reputation by publicizing terminations from LLBO employment to further harm Plaintiffs future opportunities for employment and earnings in the local employment market.
That Defendants continue to wrongfully hold
retained personal property and other rightful reimbursement due
Plaintiffs. (See Aff. of Frank Bibeau as
Exhibit FB 5).
COUNT III – 25 U.S.C. §1302
65. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-64).
66. That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive, interfere and injure Plaintiffs in violation of 25 U.S.C. §1302(1) by making and enforcing their unwritten discrimination policies to deny Plaintiffs “petition for a redress of grievances.” (See Item 62 a).
67. That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive, interfere and injure Plaintiffs and others similarly situated in violation of 25 U.S.C. §1302(1) by creating a chill in the reservation’s communities and workplace where “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” is now a risk for any employees who are perceived to be or have been in association or supported by vote White/LaRose, which drives the invidious animus, bias and/or vendetta of Defendants and cause for further punitive actions against Plaintiffs and/or others similarly situated.
68. That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive, interfere and injure Plaintiffs and others similarly situated in violation of 25 U.S.C. §1302(2) by using the Tribal Police to assist in employee terminations/removal including search and seizure of personal property without lawful warrant, under direction of Defendant Wilson.
69. That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive, interfere and injure Plaintiffs and others similarly situated in violation of 25 U.S.C. §1302(5) by taking/retaining financial reimbursement owed. (See Item 64 supra).
That Defendants conspired to deny, deprive,
injure Plaintiffs and others similarly situated in violation of 25
§1302(8) by wrongfully terminating Plaintiffs from employment
which is a
property interest, without due process, notice of charges and/or
be heard with right of appeal.
COUNT IV – 42 U.S.C. §1986
71. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-70).
72. That Defendants (and other individuals yet to be determined) conspired to deny, deprive, interfere and injure Plaintiffs and others similarly situated in violation of 42 U.S.C. §1986 by failing to responsibly act when “having knowledge that any of the wrongs conspired to be done, and mentioned in section 1985 of this title, are about to be committed, and having power to prevent or aid in preventing the commission of the same, neglects or refuses so to do, if such wrongful act be committed, shall be liable to the party injured, or his legal representatives, for all damages caused by such wrongful act, which such person by reasonable diligence could have prevented; and such damages may be recovered in an action on the case; and any number of persons guilty of such wrongful neglect or refusal may be joined as defendants in the action.”
73. That Plaintiffs’ authority for damages and right of recovery are provided for under 28 U.S.C. 1343(a)(1-4), which provides for (1) “recover[y of ]damages for injury to his person or property, or because of the deprivation of any right or privilege . . . by any act done in furtherance of any conspiracy” (2) where others “who fail to prevent or aid in preventing any wrongs mentioned in 1985”, (3) “to redress the deprivation, under color of any [governmental] law . . .” and (4) “recover[y of] damages or to secure equitable or other relief under any Act of Congress providing for the protection of civil rights, including the right to vote.”
That Plaintiffs authority for attorney’s
fees and expert fees
are provided under 42 U.S.C. 1988(b - c), which provides that “in any
proceeding to enforce a provision of sections 1981, 1981a, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986 of this title . . . the
court, in its
discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United
reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.”
COUNT V – CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS
75. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-74).
76. That Defendants in furtherance of their conspiracy did necessarily act outside the scope of their official capacity to violate the various significant and fundamental civil rights, protections and liberties contained in the Constitution of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and particularly Article XIII therein, which provides that “All members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe shall be accorded by the governing body equal rights, equal protection, and equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources and activities of the Tribe, and no member shall be denied any of the constitutional rights or guarantees enjoyed by other citizens of the United States, including but not limited to freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of speech, the right to orderly association or assembly, the right to petition for action or the redress of grievances, and due process of law.”
77. That Defendants in furtherance of their conspiracy, did necessarily act outside the scope of their official capacity to violate the Constitution of the MCT and particularly Article VI, which requires Bylaws for each Reservation Business Committee “to govern duties of its officers and Committee members and its meetings.”
That Defendants, in violation of Ordinance
No. 1 (Leech Lake
Governing Bylaws) and in furtherance of the conspiracy alleged above,
an Acting Chairman, Luke Wilson,
whereupon Defendants conspired to seize control of LLRBC governmental
financial operations to systematically terminate certain
employees which Defendants’ perceived an invidious animus
or to be supporters or in association of other past elected LLRBC
COUNT VI – WRONGFUL TERMINATION
79. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-78).
80. That at common law, wrongful termination is the illegal act by an employer when the employer violates a specific state or federal law, regulation or constitutional provision, which necessarily includes LLBO Ordinances policies and the MCT Constitution.
81. That at common law the LLBO government employment relationship is that of an implied contract, not at-will and therefore by Defendants actions alleged above have “breached the implied contract of employment” which is also a “breach of good faith and fair dealing.”
82. That Defendants have willfully and with malicious intent, conspired for the purposes of intimidation and to tortuously interfere with Plaintiffs’ (and others’ similarly situated) protected civil and due process rights associated with tribal governmental employment and subsequent employment.
83. That in many jurisdictions employers must at least show “good cause” for termination, which the Defendants repeatedly failed to show in a series of Unemployment Insurance appeals against Plaintiffs. (See Exhibits BG 3, VB 2, FB 7 and WS 3).
84. That discrimination, specifically covered by law has been alleged in this Complaint, based upon the invidious animus fueled by Defendants’ “personal politics” as shown by the on-going defamation against Plaintiffs.
85. That other employee Plaintiffs were intimidated by Defendants and consequently chose to resign to receive uncontested Unemployment Insurance benefits and to avoid becoming another of Defendants’ targets for defamation, which resignations are actually constructive discharges at common law.
That Plaintiffs have been harmed by loss of
livelihood and lost income as well as reputation.
COUNT VII - DEFAMATION
87. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-86).
88. That Defendants did conspire to defame Plaintiffs in furtherance of their conspiracy to cause greater injuries/harms to Plaintiffs, thereby increasing intimidation of LLBO employees and reservation members.
89. That Minnesota law provides that a “defamatory matter is anything which exposes a person or a group, class or association to hatred, contempt, ridicule, degradation or disgrace in society, or injury to business or occupation.” (Minn. Stat. 609.765, subd. 1).
90. That Minnesota law further describes acts constituting defamation as “whomever with knowledge of its defamatory character orally, in writing or by any other means, communicates any defamatory matter to a third person without the consent of the person defamed is . . . defamation.” (Id. at subd. 2).
INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
91. Plaintiffs re-allege all of the factual allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs 1-89).
92. That by Defendants having willfully and with malicious intent, conspired to wrongfully deprive Plaintiffs of their civil rights (breach of implied contract and tortuous interference with property interests) in employment have caused a broad financial impact to families and extended families on the reservation due to financial destabilization and fears of additional reprisal, which is inflicting emotional distress particularly on Plaintiffs and others similarly situated, and generally on tribal members in the community.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment as follows:
1. Declaring that Defendants have acted unlawfully and outside the scope of their authority and did conspire to discriminate against and deprive Plaintiffs of their several civil rights under the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §1981 et seq.
2. Ordering that Plaintiffs entitled to be returned to their previous or comparable positions with all back pay and benefits due; or in the alternative if Plaintiffs are do not return they will be fully compensated for past quantum meruit, past lost earnings and benefits as well as loss of future earnings.
3. Declaring that Defendants did act with malicious intent to defame, harm and injure Plaintiffs individually in their person, profession and livelihood and have therefore committed defamatory acts against Plaintiffs for which Defendants are personally and individually liable for damages.
4. Declaring that Defendants have cause widespread intentional infliction of emotional distress for Plaintiffs’ spouse, children and/or families by causing financial hardship, using public defamation and other overt acts of oppression to publicly ridicule and humiliate and therefore committed acts causing the intentional infliction of emotional distress for Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ families for which Defendants are personally and individually liable for damages.
5. Declaring that the Tribal Police acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally when searching and seizing Plaintiffs’ personal possessions, files, work product and other private case information, without a warrant or other lawful court order to aid in Defendants defamation and ridicule and therefore such items must be returned to the Plaintiff or he must be compensated for the damages.
6. Declaring that Defendants have committed an unjust taking against Plaintiff Bibeau as described above and by not reimbursing his personal costs/expenses in performing his previous job duties which are provided for under the LLBO policies and he must be compensated for the damages.
7. Ordering that Defendants enter into a Consent Decree with Plaintiffs to develop an independent LLR civil service commission to establish a merit system for equal rights hiring practices and a termination review board to provide for due process reviews, free of Defendants’ or future RBC’s control and interference.
8. Ordering Defendants pay attorney fees and costs as provided under 42 U.S.C. 1998(b-c).
9. Ordering punitive damages for Plaintiffs other pain, suffering, losses and general home and families’ emotional hardships associated with Defendants’ extreme and outrageous defamatory acts.
10. Judgment in excess of $2,000,000.00.
11. For such further relief as the Court may deem just, fair and equitable.
Dated: December 4, 2004
Attorney for PlaintiffS
51124 County Road 118
Deer River, Minnesota