Four face prison in Crow Creek tribal bribery case

By Dirk Lammers
Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AP) April 2010

Three Crow Creek Sioux Tribe officials and a Fort Pierre contractor have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a bribery and retaliation case on the reservation.

Each faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing hearings scheduled for June 9.

Archie Baumann, 59, owner of First Dakota Enterprises of Fort Pierre, pleaded guilty during late March to one count of bribery for attempting to influence the three officials, all of Fort Thompson.

Tribal Vice Chairman Randy Shields, 53, and Treasurer Norman Thompson Sr., 62, each pleaded guilty to a count of bribery. Secretary Thomas Thompson Sr., 34, pleaded guilty to a count of retaliation against tribal Chairman Brandon Sazue, who wore a wire to feed law officers with information on the case.

Court documents allege Baumann was trying to win a $383,000 construction contract to build homes on the reservation, and also lent the tribe more than $200,000.

Baumann gave Thomas Thompson a $2,000 check and gave $1,000 each to Shields and Norman Thompson, through an unnamed party, to influence the council members to continue hiring First Dakota Enterprises and have the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe borrow money from Baumann, according to court records.

In December 2008, the tribal council suspended Sazue from his duties as tribal chairman. He was reinstated after the federal indictments were filed.

A telephone message left with the tribal office for Sazue was not immediately returned.