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Removal of Seneca Nation president voided by clerk

BUFFALO — A power struggle within the Seneca Indian Nation in western New York has taken another turn.

On Saturday, the Seneca Tribal Council voted 10-6 to remove Robert Odawi Porter as chief executive officer.

But on Sunday, the Seneca clerk voided that vote on a procedural technicality.

The clerk says the nation’s ethics laws prohibit nation officials from acting upon matters in which their family members have a personal interest. But in the action to replace Porter with Councilor Michael “Spike” John, John’s brother, Donald John, seconded the motion and participated in the vote.

Porter, who was elected to a two-year term as president last November, says the council’s vote Saturday reflects political discontent over his administration’s crackdown on corrupt insider deals.