Two judges have been removed from the Crow Tribal Court

Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 19:58:20-04

(GREAT FALLS) The Crow Tribe’s Legislative Branch has removed Chief Judge Leroy Not Afraid from the Crow Tribal Court in a vote of 12-3, according to a press release.

Citing mismanagement of the Crow Tribal Court’s financial systems, the Crow Judicial Ethics Board found clear and convincing evidence existed to justify recommending the Crow Legislature remove the Chief Judge.

Not Afraid acknowledged using tribal court funds to be used as loans for staff members. Tribal Court Administrator Ginger Goes Ahead confirmed these practices in a hearing held on October 15.

Associate Judge Kari Coversup was also removed from serving as Associate Judge.

Under the Crow Law and Order Code, Section 3-3-306(1), a Crow Tribal Judge may be removed for cause if convicted of any offense in Federal or any State jurisdiction.

Coversup pleaded guilty to Partner/Family Member Assault in the Montana 22nd Judicial District Court of Big Horn County on June 19, 2018.

Despite an affidavit submitted by Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris attesting that the conviction was not a conviction, the Crow Judicial Ethics Board found that Judge Covers Up had violated Crow law.

(JANUARY 25, 2018) A Crow Tribal Judge is accused of assaulting her boyfriend with a bottle of alcohol after he apparently did not return her phone calls, according to recently filed court documents.

Associate Judge of the Judicial Branch of the Crow Nation Kari Covers Up, 41, was charged in Big Horn County District Court with assault.

The alleged assault happened in the early morning hours of December 16 at the victim’s home in Hardin.

The male victim reported that Covers Up came to his home upset with him for not returning his phone calls, according to charging documents filed December 27.

The victim was lying on his side in bed when Covers Up allegedly began hitting him in the head with a bottle of alcohol.

The assault left the victim with a cut on his forehead.

Covers Up allegedly continued the assault until she passed out at the foot of the bed, according to court documents.

Covers Up was elected judge in 2013 and began dealing with criminal cases.

“Judge Covers Up took an interesting path to reach the judicial field,” according to a report from the National Judicial College. “She originally graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Liberal Studies. And also received her Masters of Social Work from Walla Walla College.”

It’s unclear how the charges will impact her duties in tribal court.