TRIBE agrees to lend money to Cherokee Nation Industries - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

TRIBE agrees to lend money to Cherokee Nation Industries

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Cherokee Nation councilors have agreed to lend $1 million to financially troubled Cherokee Nation Industries.

Ten of 15 councilors met Friday and unanimously approved the loan, but only if CNI agreed to conduct a 90-day, national search for a new chief executive officer, council attorney Todd Hembree said.

The tribe will lend another $500,000 to CNI if ABC Telecommunications accepts return of $6 million of about a $14 million inventory in its telecommunications division, Hembree said.

The tribe started CNI in Stilwell in 1969 as an electrical wire and cable company working on military contracts. CNI now has four divisions, 155 positions and a $13 million line of credit.

Most of the councilors wanted a change in leadership at CNI before agreeing to the loan. Hiram McFarland of Stilwell resigned as CEO last week.

Principal Chief Chad Smith asked for a $2 million tribal loan for CNI, but councilors would only agree to the deal in place.

Smith's administrative advisers recommended it be in the form of a contribution, but Smith and the council agreed on the loan.
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