Clayton Kennedy Faces Fraud Charges

Crime News

Crime NewsTHUNDER BAY – Former Attawapiskat First Nation Co-Manager Clayton Kennedy is facing charges of fraud.

Former Attawapiskat Co-Manager Charged

ATTAWAPISKAT – In February, 2013, an investigation was commenced by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service North East Region Crime Unit into a complaint about a fraud committed in Attawapiskat First Nation.

On March 26, 2014, 62 year-old Clayton Kennedy of Cochrane, Ontario has been charged with Fraud over $5,000.00 and Theft over $5,000.00.

Kennedy was released on conditions and will appear in court in Attawapiskat, Ontario on May 28, 2014.

Kennedy was reported to be receiving $850 per day as the Attawapiskat Co-manager, those funds being directed by Aboriginal Affairs Canada.

Attawapiskat First Nation Statement

On March 26, 2014, the Council of the Attawapiskat First Nation was informed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service that the First Nation’s former co-manager, Clayton Kennedy, had been charged with one count each of fraud over $5,000 and theft over$5,000.

This is a very serious matter, as the First Nation entrusted Mr. Kennedy to handle funds on behalf of the Members of the Attawapiskat First Nation for the delivery of specific services for community members.

The Council of the Attawapiskat First Nation has committed to cooperate in any and all ways possible as this matter proceeds through the courts.

It was the Attawapiskat First Nation that referred the matter to police for investigation, after an internal investigation was conducted.

This is obviously a challenging time for the family and community members of Attawapiskat’s Chief Theresa Spence, as Mr. Kennedy is her common-law spouse. Chief Spence, has recused herself from any involvement or discussion of this issue whatsoever, as she has done since Mr. Kennedy’s employment was first considered in 2010.

Council’s obligations are clear: it is committed to the effective and transparent management of all funds entrusted to it for the use and benefit of Attawapiskat’s members and community. Council will continue to cooperate fully with the legal process.

Taykwa Tagamou Nation Relieves Kennedy

The Chief and Council of Taykwa Tagamou Nation have taken decisive action with respect to their Co-Manager Clayton Kennedy.  Chief Dwight Sutherland has relieved Kennedy of his duties, while the matter of his alleged fraud charges are dealt with through the court system.

Further, Chief Sutherland has written a letter to Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt demanding that TTN be reimbursed for any potential costs associated with removing Kennedy from his duties as Co-Manager. “We believe that Aboriginal Affairs was aware of potentially troublesome issues about Mr. Kennedy and yet the Department of Aboriginal Affairs approved his appointment.  Minister Valcourt must take responsibility for the costs and hardships incurred by our community.” Chief Sutherland added.

Co-management is the middle level of intervention by the Federal Government in order to improve a First Nation’s financial situation.  The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the TTN Chief and Council agreed on the hiring of Kennedy, however TTN currently pays 100% of the cost.

Chief Dwight Sutherland stated, “First and foremost, everyone is entitled to a fair trial and the courts will determine guilt or innocence, not us.  At the same time, we believe that the financial trust and accountability we have to our people is paramount and as a result, we’ve asked Mr. Kennedy to deal with the legal matter on his own time and away from our community.”

Taykwa Tagamou Nation is signatory to Treaty #9 and is a small Cree community located east of Cochrane, Ontario.

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