The chief of Manitoba’s biggest first nation says someone tried to blackmail him over images that were sent from his phone in a speech in March during the community’s band election.
“They threatened me. They threatened my family,” Glenn Hudson said in video of the speech that was posted to Facebook and recently shared with APTN News.
Hudson was re-elected to serve four more years as chief of Peguis First Nation in April.
APTN left several messages asking Hudson to comment further but he did not respond.
The band’s director of communications, Dwayne Bird, also didn’t reply to an email seeking more information.
In the video, Hudson said “a young lady” demanded $1,000 or threatened to release a photo of a man’s penis to his election opponents.
APTN has learned the photo was sent from Hudson’s phone to a second woman – allegedly by accident.
But she told friends about it – one of whom saw it as an opportunity to allegedly extort the chief.
Hudson said the woman upped her demand to $1,500 the next day.
So he called police.
“You can’t allow people to do that,” he said, noting his wife was in full agreement.
“She’s said, ‘Charge her,’” Hudson said in the speech. “Otherwise they’re going to continue to do that.”
Hudson said the blackmailer backed down and apologized after police arrived.
A copy of part of a texting conversation on the phone of Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson. (APTN)
Copies of the original messages between Hudson and the second woman in January were posted on Facebook and shared with APTN.
APTN is not naming the woman, who was not involved in the blackmail scheme and expressed shock at seeing the photo of a man’s penis that popped up on her screen.
“What is that a picture of?” the woman texted to Hudson.
“You just sent me a obscene picture.”
“Idk (I don’t know) where?” Hudson texted back. “I don’t see anything on my phone.
“What crazy must be hacked,” he added.
Claiming his phone was ‘hacked’ is the same defence used by Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, who is on leave of absence from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs after his own texting scandal broke earlier this month.
Dumas said someone impersonated him on Facebook Messenger and in cellphone texts despite the texts appearing to come from a phone number that belonged to him.
He said “spoof” texts can “make a message appear to come from one cell phone number when, in fact, they originate from another.”
Hudson, who co-nominated Dumas for the position of grand chief two years ago, offers alternative theories for the penis photo sent from his phone, including that he hit a wrong button and asked the woman to delete it.
He also refused to answer questions about the Dumas texting story from APTN at a recent event.
“Promise that you erase that stupid video pic,” he told the woman by message.
“Was sent by mistake in hitting a button I guess.”
It is not illegal for adults to share nude photos unless the pictures are accompanied by threats or involve child pornography.
“Guys shared stupid stuff even to me,” Hudson texted.
“I’m sorry. Never do that kinda things.”
The Peguis band council released a statement expressing confidence in Dumas following the texting revelation.
The community, 170 kilometres north of Winnipeg, has a sexual harassment policy, but it applies to employees – not elected officials.