Tribal Vice Chairman resigns
By John Gutekunst
The Colorado River Indian Tribes have announced the resignation of Vice Chairman Keith Moses, which became effective July 20.
In a statement, the Tribal Council said, “Keith Moses has been a tireless public servant and his dedication to the greater good of CRIT and its members over the seven years has never wavered. We are grateful for Keith’s service, especially during the pandemic. Please join us in thanking him for all he has done for CRIT and keep him your prayers.”
Moses was elected Tribal Vice Chairman in December 2014, replacing Sylvia Homer. Previously, he had been the manager of the Bluewater Cinemas.
He faced a recall election on April 28, 2018. Two Tribal members, Tim Stevens-Welsh and Amber Van Fleet, sought to recall Moses, Tribal Chairman Dennis Patch, and all the members of the Tribal Council over proposals to lease some of the Tribes’ water rights. Stevens-Welsh and Van Fleet were able to able to collect enough signatures on their petitions to recall Moses, Patch and the entire Council.
Moses won that election, but Patch was recalled and had to leave office. Moses served as Tribal Chairman until a special election in July 2018. Patch was returned as Tribal Chairman in that election.
Moses was elected to a second term as Vice Chairman in December 2018.
Prior to Moses’s resignation, Stevens-Welsh had taken out another recall petition against him. In the application dated July 14, Stevens-Welsh said the CRIT Constitution required Moses to resign and his position declared vacant following a conviction for DUI.
“According to the constitution, Keith Moses, Vice Chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes position must be declared vacant as he was found guilty while in office of a felony or a misdemeanor or other criminal offense involving dishonesty or moral turpitude in any Indian, state or federal court, therefore requiring his position to be declared vacant by the Tribal Council,” Stevens-Welsh said.
On his Facebook page, Moses addressed claims regarding legal issues he is facing.
“As everyone here knows, I did have a violation two years ago that, due to the pandemic and the Tribal Court being shut down a year and a few months later was finally completed earlier this year,” he said. “I am currently in the disposition of that. At the time I apologized for this and do report to you that I have been sober for over a year and a half. I know this admission won’t convince those who believe they’re right. despite the facts and truth being presented to them. Everything's a conspiracy for some of these members. I continue to be sorry for my actions at the time and work every day to be better.”
“So those who are saying that I have another run-in with the law are not telling the truth to you,” he continued. “Those that are going around and spreading untruths to the members and trying to get you to join them do not have CRIT's best interests in mind they only have their agenda which is based on nothing but false belief.”
Moses called on everyone to come together to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is what I know,” he said. “There is still a pandemic, people are still getting sick and may not make it. Your Tribal Council is working hard to address this and also to place CRIT in a good position to come out of this in a good and better place. I am thankful to still be here after getting the virus last November I continue to have after effects that I have to deal with due to that but each day is better. I don't have time for negativity at this point in my life. I’m just very grateful to the Creator to still be here.”
He concluded his statement by saying, “Prayers for EVERYONE... we need ALL of you to get through this pandemic. I will continue to serve CRIT. Thank you.”