Lutsel K’e chief Darryl Marlowe faces criminal charges after an incident in the community Jan. 3.
According to court documents, the chief was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired. He also faces two counts of assault.
His blood alcohol concentration was noted to be above the legal limits of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood at the time of his arrest.
Marlowe was reported to have been in Stanton Territorial hospital after a snowmobile accident on the day in question.
Marlowe was re-elected as chief in October, beating Coun. Stephanie Poole 179 votes to 58.
On whether or not an elected leader would have to step down if criminally charged, Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) spokesperson Jay Boast, said the matter of Indigenous Government Elections are covered by Federal Legislation. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) said that questions related to the leadership of a Chief should be directed to the First Nation directly.
Marlowe did not respond to a request for comment. The Lutsel K'e SAO likewise could not be reached, nor could any of the six members of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation band council.
None of the allegations against Marlowe have not been proven in court.
Marlowe's next court appearance is scheduled for March 31.
Correction: A previous version of this story identified the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) as the authority determining an official’s eligibility to retain their seat. The eligibility is in fact determined by individual communities according to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC).