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The Cherokee Observer obtained a copy of this  August 1995 letter from then Cherokee Nation Controller DeWayne Couch trying to justify the severance pay the Mankiller administration gave to employees who resigned when Joe Byrd became Chief to the BIA.

                              CHEROKEE NATION                           

                                      P.O. Box 948                                
          Tahlequah, OK 74465-0948         
 August 28, 1995
                Mr. William Sinclair, Director
                Office of Self-Governance
                Department of Interior
                1849 C Street Northwest
                Room #2548
                Washiington, D.C.   20240
                Dear Mr. sinclair:
                This is in response to your letter of August 22, 1995.  The
                following information is in response to item 3) of your letter.
                  3), a)   There is some precedent for the payment of severance
                           when such severance was on amicable terms with the
                           administration.  The following individuals have been
                           past participants in some form of severance
                             Mark Downing - 146 hours pay.
                             Bill Steeler - 5 percent of gross pay on assignment1
                             Dora Mae Watie - 577 hours pay.
                             Bill Murphy - 520 hours pay.
                             Jim Wilson - 520 hours pay.
                       b)  The method of calculation on the severance plan was as
                           FIVE individuals were calculated at 18 weeks of pay at
                           the standard weekly rate plus medical insurance.  One
                           of these actually received nothing for medical
                           insurance coverage.
                           ONE individual was calculated at 9 weeks of pay at the
                           standard weekly rate with no medical insurance.
                           The plan was originally described as 18 weeks of pay
                           with medical insurance.

               c)  Department Heads and Department Directors were
                   theoretical participants. There are over fifty
                   individuals in this classification.  Nothing was
                   provided in writing to potential participants.  Six
                   elected to participate.
               d)  Three individuals who received 18 weeks of pay were
                   employees in the Indirect Cost Pool.  Two others
                   receiving 18 weeks of pay were on programmatic
                   assignments.  One receiving 9 weeks of pay was on a
                   programmatic assignment.
               e)  Time in service, salary level and program upon
                   termination of employment.
                   Hire Date    Name             Salary/Year   Program
                   1/8/79         G. Grayson        $53,000 *     Community Dev.
                   9/6/83         L. Howard          41,800 *      Communications
                  8/20/85        L. Fleming         51,325 *       Registration
                   8/8/88        A. Harder           49,478 *       Human Resources
                   1/9/89        P. Iron                56,488 *        Health
                   2/2/93        R. Clemmons     32,594**       Bus.& Econ. Dev.
                                             *  Severance Pay of 18 weeks.
                                             ** Severance Pay of 9 weeks.
               f)  Handling of severance pay will be in accordance with
                   provisions of 0MB Circular A-87.
               g)  The incoming administration is reviewing the plan at
                   the present time.  They were not provided information
                   on the plan prior to inauguration.
         Please advise if you need further information.
         DeWayne Couch