Baker sent a memo to Cherokee Nation employees late Friday, letting people know who was in charge of health, human services, human resources, community services, communications, and something called management resources. We’re not sure if these are people filling in for the six people Baker let go permanently, or some of the ones put on "administrative leave."
So here is how it looks to shape up:
Health: Melissa Gower is out, Gloria Grim is in.
Human Services: Norma Merriman is out, Marsha Lamb is in.
Human Resources: Michael Botello is out, Bill Foster is in.
Community Services: Charlie Soap is out, David Southerland is in.
Communications: Sammye Rusco is out, Randy Gibson is in.
Management resources: Angie Drewes out, Pat Gwin is in.
Interesting note-- the person stepping in to take over health is someone Baker has accused of violating federal law! We wrote about that way back in June. Maybe when the U.S. Attorney cleared Dr. Grim immediately, Baker realized he was wrong.
Anyway, most of the other folks are Cherokees whose jobs don’t really have much to do with political policy, but they are gone anyway, mostly replaced, from what we can tell, with internal temporary folks.
Baker also issued a memo saying Secretary of State Melanie Knight has his signature authority “except for policy changes, attorney contracts and items specifically prohibited by Cherokee Nation or federal law.”
Baker says he’s got a lot more changes to make. He told Channel 6: "I want to put together the best of the best, and that have the same vision of the Cherokee nation that I have and the people who voted for me have… Other people have to go or they shift to a different position and we're looking at that as well. We've asked people to put resumes together and we'll put people where they'll be best for the Cherokee Nation."
Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Baker talking about how the Cherokee Nation was “good” but needed to be “great.” So it looks like he’s getting rid of the people who were doing a good job (and some might argue that they were, in fact, doing a great job) and either replacing them with subordinates or bringing in folks from the outside whose resumes are unknown.