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GREAT FALLS — The Chippewa Cree tribe has delayed a special election to pick a new leader after the former chairman challenged his disqualification as a candidate.

The Great Falls Tribune reported that the tribe's election board suspended Tuesday's election to ensure its decisions on candidate qualifications are valid.

Ken Blatt St. Marks was removed as chairman in March after the Chippewa Cree Business Committee accused him of neglect of duty and gross misconduct.

St. Marks denied the allegations and said he was targeted because he was cooperating with a federal corruption probe.

St. Marks was certified as a candidate in the special election, but the election board disqualified him because he had been removed for neglect.

The former chairman said the 1966 ordinance the decision was based on is outdated and obscure.

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