APTN National News
Clayton Kennedy, the life-partner of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, has been charged with theft and fraud in connection with his term as co-manager of the First Nation, according to the band manager.
Kennedy was charged March 26 with a count of fraud over $5,000 and a count of theft over $5,000, said Wayne Turner, Attawapiskat’s band manager.
His next court date is scheduled for May 28 in Attawapiskat.
The charges stem from a complaint filed with the Nishnawbe–Aski Police by the First Nation in April 2013, he said. Nishnawbe-Aski police spokesperson Jackie George said in a statement the complaint stemmed from February 2013.
“The First Nation took an item of concern to the police and they investigated and after a long period of time the Crown finally decided to act upon the case,” said Turner.
George said the complaint stemmed from an issue dating back to Aug. 2012, the tail-end of Kennedy’s time as co-manager of Attawapiskat.
Turner said Spence has recused herself from any band council discussions on the issue. He said she is currently on vacation.
APTN National News could not reach Spence for comment. A source close to Spence, however, said she and Kennedy have been advised not to speak on the issue.
“Clayton (Kennedy) will have his chance to speak,” said the source.
Turner said Attawapiskat would be releasing a statement later today on the issue.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office released a statement saying it couldn’t on details of the case.
“Those who break the rules must suffer the consequences,” said Valcourt’s office in a statement.
Kennedy was the band’s co-manager between July 2010 and August 2012. He was also the band’s director of finance, band manager and co-manager between 2001 and 2004 and left the community until he was hired again.
He is currently listed as the co-manager for Taykwa Tagamou Nation.
“We have no comment, bye,” said a woman who answered the phone at the band office.