PEMBROKE — Al Locklear, Lumbee Tribal Council vice chairman, was stripped of his council leadership positions on Tuesday by fellow council members, according to the speaker of the tribe.
Council Speaker Bobby Oxendine and other sources confirmed that Locklear also submitted a letter of resignation during a closed session council meeting, but Locklear this morning strongly denied he has resigned.
“Who told you that?” Locklear said when contacted by a reporter. “I have not resigned.”
Oxendine, when questioned by The Robesonian, said Locklear had submitted his resignation but it will not become effective until January. Until that time he will still be permitted to attend, participate and vote on issues that come before the council.
The sanctions levied Tuesday leave Locklear with no council leadership and committee positions, including chairmanship of the council’s Economic Development Committee, Oxendine said. Locklear also is restricted from traveling to conferences and other events as a representative of the Lumbee Tribe.
“Al is still a good guy,” Oxendine said. “He can still do a good job on the council.”
The sanctions placed on Locklear are a result of a “combination of events,” Oxendine said.
These events included a “battery” conviction in Las Vegas, a misdemeanor offense, while on tribal business. Subsequent to that Locklear was charged with driving while impaired in South Carolina, but court records show he was guilty of the lesser charge of careless operation of a vehicle. Locklear told The Robesonian earlier that he was asleep, called for a family emergency and ran into a traffic check. He was fined $1,017.
Oxendine was uncertain about the exact number of council members who voted to levy the sanctions, but said he believes that 18 members of the 21 council members present at the meeting voted, with 15 for sanctions and three against.
Locklear was first elected to the Tribal Council in 2013. He currently is serving the first year of his second three-year term.
Locklear, a businessman, is president of the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the board of directors for the North Carolina Indian Housing Authority in Fayetteville.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.