WALKER (AP) -- Eli O. Hunt, who was ousted as chairman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in October, withdrew Sunday as a candidate in the special election for the office.
Hunt said he did a lot of "soul searching" since filing his candidacy and decided that "the demands of the job and the current political climate may have an adverse impact on my health."
In an Oct. 11 recall election, the band voted to remove Hunt from office after the Tribal Council blocked an audit of the band's payroll. Fifty-six percent of band members voted to recall Hunt, while 44 percent voted to keep him as chairman.
Hunt was elected to his first term as Leech Lake chairman in 1996 and to his second term in 2000.
The push to remove Hunt began in August after the band's new secretary-treasurer, Arthur "Archie" LaRose, tried to initiate an audit of the tribal payroll but was stopped by the Tribal Council.
Some accused Hunt of preventing the audit because he was afraid of what it might show.
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