Two Comanche Nation tribal officers avoided being recalled from office Thursday following two special meetings.
The meetings were called to involve two hearings, one for Comanche Business Committee Vice Chairman Dr. Cornel Pewewardy and the other for Committeeperson Seat No. 1 Hazel Tahsequah.
Tribal members met at Watchetaker Hall at the Comanche Nation Tribal Complex, 9 miles north of Lawton, to hear arguments for and against the recall before casting their ballots. The meeting and voting lasted just under two-and-a-half hours.
In the final tally, 63 percent of tribal members voted for Pewewardy’s removal and 38 percent against, according to Chairman Mark Woomavovah. He remains in office as the vote failed to meet the 66 percent threshold needed for a recall to pass.
Tahsequah also did not meet the two-thirds majority and will remain in office, according to Woomavovah.
Pewewardy and Tahsequah were each accused of violations against the Comanche Nation Constitution. Pewewardy also was accused of being paid $600 for a Comanche Nation Tax Commission meeting he missed in January 2023.
Pewewardy called the recall process on the actions which he was accused of unconstitutional and invalid.
Comanche tribal members are set to return to Watchetaker Hall for a 1:30 p.m. special meeting Feb. 24. Doors open at 9 a.m. and there will be a noon meal.
That meeting is to discuss and potentially act on the suspension of Woomavovah from office.
The meeting follows a contentious Feb. 3 Comanche Business Committee meeting in which tribal members voiced dissension regarding the chairman’s vocal support of the Westwin Elements cobalt/nickel refinery. He has voiced support for the project in the name of the tribe.
Feb. 1, Woomavovah posted a video to the tribe’s Facebook page offering a mea culpa for not first coming to the general council before speaking for the Comanche Nation.