Former Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Phillip Tiger is scheduled to plead guilty in federal court Friday after being charged in August with bribery.
A federal grand jury in Muskogee indicted Tiger on a single count of bribery that is linked to his work for another tribe.
The indictment alleged the bribery occurred between September 2017 and Feb. 15, which was two months after Tiger left as chairman of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town’s Economic Development Authority Board.
Tiger, 69, has been free on a no-cash bond since he entered a not-guilty plea Aug. 28 during his initial arraignment. A trial date had been scheduled for Oct. 1.
Tiger was elected Muscogee (Creek) Nation principal chief in 2011 before losing a re-election bid in 2015 to James Floyd.
The bribery count states that Tiger accepted the bribe from unidentified persons who are known to the grand jury.
A related criminal case that is also pending in Muskogee federal court alleges former Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town employee Aaron Dewayne Terry was involved in the payment of about $100,000 and other goods to the tribe’s Economic Development Authority Board Chairman, identified as only as “G.T.”
The payments ranged from a $2,000 cash payment made by Terry in spring 2018 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City to $31,800 in payments for “consulting services” from an Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town-owned company that Terry controlled.
Terry and former Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Chief Financial Officer Christina Rochelle Anglin face a multi-count indictment that alleges theft of tribal funds, conspiracy to commit theft of tribal funds or bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The bribery charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 or both.
It was unclear how a guilty plea would affect Tiger’s candidacy for a second term as principal chief. Tiger is among 10 individuals seeking the tribe’s top elected position. A primary election is scheduled for Sept. 21.