Ute Tribal Judge Anthony Famulary has denied a motion for a restraining order that would have barred all six members of the tribe's governing business committee from performing their duties.
Famulary said the motion was not in accordance with the tribal constitution.At a Wednesday hearing, petitioner Ron Williams, speaking on behalf of concerned tribal members, argued that there were acceptable grounds for granting his motion - among them a show-of-hands vote taken during a general tribal membership meeting on the issue of dividend payments for new enrollees that was carried into law.
He told the judge that action set a precedent for the vote held last week that resulted in 119 hands being raised in favor of removing the business committee in office. Only five hands were raised against it, he said.
But Tribal Attorney Steve Boyden said the vote taken last Tuesday was "an advisory vote only." He said constitutional procedures for referendum votes and recall elections must take place before the tribal officials could be removed from office.