The Cherokee Nation filed charges this week against former Cherokee Nation Foundation Executive Director Kimberlie Gilliland for embezzlement and fraud.
The Cherokee Nation Office of the Attorney General filed criminal charges in Cherokee Nation District Court against Gilliland, seeking jail time and fines. Former AG Diane Hammons has been appointed as a special prosecutor for the case.
The Cherokee Nation Foundation, represented by attorney Ralph Keen Jr., has also filed a civil case in tribal court, seeking a repayment by Gilliland of $232,000 in funds in addition to punitive damages.
“It is the duty of the attorney general to safeguard the assets of the Cherokee Nation,” Attorney General Todd Hembree said. “During this investigation, we uncovered fraud and corruption that cannot, and will not, be tolerated in our organization.”
The charges stem from a more than two-year investigation involving irregularities in Gilliland’s salary, travel, spending and awarding of foundation scholarships. Gilliland was appointed to serve as executive director in 2009 and served until 2013.
For more information, visit http://www.cherokee.org/attorneygeneral/Home.aspx.