MUSKOGEE — A federal grand jury has indicted a once and potentially future Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
On Aug. 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that a grand jury had indicted George Tiger on a count of bribery in connection with his now former position with the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town’s economic development authority.
According to the indictment, Tiger allegedly solicited a bribe between September 2017 and February 2019 while working as chairman for the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Economic Development Authority Board.
The Bristow resident is scheduled for arraignment at 2 p.m. on Aug. 28 at the federal courthouse in Muskogee. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 or potentially both.
The indictment is connected to two additional separate indictments issued the same day against people with connections to the Wetumka-based tribe.
Aaron Terry and Christina Anglin were indicted for theft by an agent of an Indian tribal government receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit theft or bribery of programs receiving federal funds, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and conspiracy to commit bribery. Anglin was the tribe’s chief financial officer, while Terry held several management positions with different businesses owned by the tribe.
According to court documents, Terry and Anglin provided money and other items of value to Tiger in an effort to influence and reward him for procuring contracts and purchasing land to be put into trust for a potential casino.
Tiger was elected Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Principal Chief in 2011 but lost his 2015 bid for re-election after the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council issued a vote of no confidence. He made an unsuccessful run in 2017 for a National Council seat from the Creek District.
With current Principal Chief James Floyd declining to seek another term, Tiger is one of the 10 chief candidates on the tribe’s Sept. 21 general election ballot. In response to the indictment announcement, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Election Board issued a statement on Aug. 15, reiterating the eligibility criteria for office and reassuring voters that its members are closely watching the legal standing of all candidates.
“The Constitution of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation prohibits a person serving from as Principal Chief, if such a conviction occurs,” it reads in part. “A felony conviction occurs when a judge or jury finds a person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A grand jury indictment and criminal information does not constitute finding of guilt. The grand jury indictment and criminal information processes are methods of bringing formal criminal charges against a person. A person who has been charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”