First Posted: 1/15/2009
Ex-administrator was fired
LUMBERTON - The Lumbee tribe was ordered last month to pay former Tribal Administrator Darlene Jacobs $96,000 as part of a civil lawsuit settlement. It is unclear whether that has happened, but Superior Court Judge Frank Lanier instructed the tribe to pay the money before 1 p.m. on Feb. 23.
Jacobs, who filed the lawsuit in October, declined to talk about the settlement when reached at her home on Lake Junaluska, near Asheville. She would not say if she has received the money.
“It is over with and I am moving on with my life,” she said.
Jacobs served as administrator from March 1, 2003, to Jan. 16, 2004, when she was fired by Tribal Chairman Jimmy Goins. She sued the tribe, saying she wasn't compensated for the remaining 14 months on her contract.
Her lawyer, Woodberry Bowen, also declined to comment.
“There was a confidentially clause in the lawsuit that permits me from saying nothing more than it was settled,” Bowen said.
Donald Bullard, attorney for the Tribal Council, also declined comment.
Jacobs, a former council member, was hired by former Tribal Chairman Milton Hunt. Her contract was to run through Feb. 28, 2005. Her salary was $80,000 per year.
Chairman Goins said he fired Jacobs after problems surfaced within the tribe’s housing program. Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found evidence that the tribe violated federal policies when buying mobile homes, buying land and soliciting bids for the tribe’s housing program.
The contract called for Jacobs to be paid for any remaining time on her contract either in a lump sum or equal monthly installments, if she were terminated.
Several council members questioned at that time whether the contract is valid because it was not approved by the council. Some believe Jacobs signed a one-year contract and that a two-year contract wasn't approved by the council.
Leon Jacobs was hired as the new administrator and continues in that position. Darlene Jacobs and Leon Jacobs are not related.