Members of the Crow Legislative Committee filed motions to quash a federal
temporary restraining order releasing $2.4 million in tribal funds to A.J. Not Afraid.
According to court documents, Carlson Goes Ahead, Shawn Back Bone, and Frank White Clay are asking for the temporary restraining order to be dissolved and that a hearing be held within 2 days notice.
Who controls more than $2.4 million in crow tribal funds? That has been a difficult question to answer for First Interstate Bank.
The bank has long held the funds for the tribe, but recent power struggles within Crow over who actually serves as Chairman and Secretary of the tribe have put those funds on hold.
According to court documents, First Interstate Bank asked the federal court on February 1st to take control of the account after receiving mixed
information from both sides about who has the power to access the funds.
They also asked the court to restrain defendants from initiating any suits against them.
On January 22nd, the Crow Legislative Branch swore in Carlson Goes Ahead as the tribe's new Chairman and Shawn Back Bone as the new Secretary.
A.J. Not Afraid claims he is the recognized chairman of the Crow Tribe.
According to documents, Not Afraid requested a temporary restraining order requiring First Interstate Bank to unfreeze the tribe's accounts and provide access to Not Afraid as the recognized Tribe Chairman.
He said essential services can not be provided to approximately 14,000 tribal members if he does not have access to the account.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Waters granted the temporary restraining order. Documents say Judge Waters agreed with Not Afraid's statements that the tribe's roughly 14,000 members could face serious harms.
Judge Waters said, "The most important of these concerns is Montana's February weather, which presents a risk of bodily injury or death without heat, electricity, food, water, and medical transport."
Goes Ahead and Back Bone say in their motion to quash they "genuinely fear that further assets of the tribe will disappear and financial records that indicate not afraid's mismanagement will disappear."
Documents say the temporary restraining order maintains the status quo that Not Afraid is currently the Tribe Chairman as stated by the Crow Tribal Court.
The temporary restraining order expires 14 days after the date of entry.
The Crow Tribal Court is holding a hearing on February 12th to determine the legitimate Chairman.