Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Wisconsin
Chairwoman Jean Buffalo-Reyes plans to appeal the March 16 reinstatement of tribal manager Ray DePerry by the personnel committee. She fired DePerry last month. Buffalo-Reyes accused DePerry of violating policies concerning employees making public statements. The dismissal letter also alleged excessive unexcused absences and tardiness. DePerry contended the firing was politically motivated and that he was the subject of a personal vendetta. In a memo to DePerry and Buffalo-Reyes the committee said it voted to reinstate DePerry and place him under 90 days probation. DePerry disagreed with two tribal members at a Feb. 20 meeting over a bridge providing access to a tribal spiritual campground on Raspberry Bay and a job posting for a grant writer. He said those exchanges were intense but disagreed that he was disrespectful to other tribal members. DePerry said he was happy with the personnel committee's decision. "The real winners in this decision are our current and future employees,'' he said. "They are the ones who will benefit in the long run because in a way, their rights to have an opinion and speak out on that opinion will be protected.'' But Buffalo-Reyes said her decision was not political or personal and she stood by her original move.