Some 'not surprised' by band councillor fraud charges
Shubenacadie band councillor and former employee facing fraud charges
Some people in Indian Brook say they're not surprised by news that a Shubenacadie band councillor and a former band employee are charged with possession of the proceeds of crime.
Coun. Michael Patrick Sack and Jeffery Cecil Hayes, a former band financial manager, are facing charges of possession of the proceeds of crime.
Prosecutors allege as much as $170,000 was siphoned away from band coffers.
David Bernard, who lives in Indian Brook, said the allegations match a pattern familiar to everyone in the community.
"If you're in the band office, you are set. After a while you'll see it, you're set. They get rich from being in the band office. I've seen it all my life," said Bernard.
"I'm not angry," said Frances Bignell. "I'm disheartened. I'm in disbelief. I cannot believe what my community has resorted to for personal gain."
The charges have yet to be proved in court but Bignell said if they are, he knows what should happen next.
"Then all that they accumulated off the reserve needs to come back to the reserve, be sold, and we get the money. The people that were robbed get the money," she said.
The band council met on Tuesday, but the doors were closed to non-band members.
Nathan Sack, director of operations for the band, said that the band has filed a claim with its insurance company because the group is insured against theft.
"Our insurance claim, we have a policy that covers up to $1 million, based on findings and based on band losses," he said.
Meanwhile, Bignell said there is hope that band leadership could be changing for the better.
"I believe that the council that came in, our newly elected chief and the council together, are willing to work together to make positive changes in our community. I support them," she said.