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St. Regis Mohawk Tribal officials suspended amid cash account scrutiny

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AKWESASNE — Police Chief Andrew Thomas, Supervising Officer Larry Edgeley and a civilian employee in the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department have been suspended indefinitely due to allegations of a discrepancy in a petty cash account.

The tribal Police Commission appointed Matthew Rourke as acting chief of police on May 23.

Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne confirmed the suspensions and said his office has been talking with Mr. Rourke.

Tribal Communications Director Allyson Doctor would not comment.

Mr. Champagne said his office is waiting for information from the tribe and has not received anything in writing. He said he was told that the suspensions came after the discovery of a discrepancy in a petty cash account. He had no further information.

Mr. Champagne said he has dealt only with Mr. Rourke. He said the tribe is handling the matter internally.

The district attorney said his office has made the state police aware of the matter. He said tribal police obtain their authority from the state police.

Major Richard C. Smith Jr., state police Troop B commander, said there is no investigation into the tribal police at this time. Troop B covers Franklin, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex and Hamilton counties.

The chief of police reports to the tribal Police Commission, which consists of five community members.

“It is their expressed role to ensure any community issues that have developed are heard and responded to for the benefit of the Akwesasne community, and to do so with integrity and confidentiality,” according to a tribal statement.

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