Reelected chief Baptiste in trouble again

Stewart Baptiste was reelected chief at Red Pheasant First Nation March 12, but learned of the results in an unusual way.

The chief was arrested election day and charged on three outstanding counts of violating his probation. According to news reports, he learned of his re-election win while in jail.

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Baptiste, who was first elected chief two years ago, narrowly beat out former chief Sheldon Wuttunee in the election held last week.

But news of the resurfacing of his legal troubles has put a cloud over his victory and now there are increasing calls from opponents of Baptiste for him to be removed from office.

Since becoming chief, Baptiste has been in and out of trouble with the law, having faced charges of impaired driving stemming from 2010. He had previously pled guilty to mischief in September 2011 in connection an incident where he was accused of throwing a vehicle battery through a truck window.

He was serving an eight-month conditional sentence in connection to that incident.

Baptiste appeared Wednesday in North Battleford provincial court and was released on bail. His case has been adjourned to next month.

He still awaits trial on the impaired driving charges.

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