Haskell alumnus won’t be speaking at graduation after allegations of financial and sexual misconduct publicized

photo by: Contributed photo

Russell Bradley is a 1962 graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University and the 2019 Outstanding Haskell Alumnus. A leader with the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, Bradley is involved with a dispute with the tribal council he has been a member of for 15 years.

The man Haskell Alumni Association named as this year’s outstanding alumnus — who had been removed last September from his leadership role with the Kickapoo Tribe in Horton after allegations of financial and sexual misconduct — will not speak at the university’s graduation Friday.

Russell Bradley, the 2019 Outstanding Haskell Alumnus, confirmed Monday that the Haskell Indian Nations University administration had talked with the Alumni Association and asked that Bradley not speak during the ceremony. Haskell officials did not immediately return calls Monday seeking comment.

As was reported in the Journal-World, Bradley will still be formally recognized during a reception in his honor at Haskell Thursday night. But the invitation to speak has been withdrawn.

“I am fine with that. I don’t want to tarnish anything,” Bradley said, speaking to the Journal-World by phone on Monday. “I feel I did nothing wrong.”

In September 2018, according to a news report on the Kansas Kickapoo Tribe website, the Tribal Council voted to remove Bradley as treasurer “due to a breach of fiduciary duty as the Tribe’s chief financial officer, in failing to preserve and report the financials of the Tribe when requested by the Tribal Council, and for sexual harassment.” The website provided no further information about the allegations.

A graduate of Haskell’s class of 1962, Bradley, 77, has served on the Kickapoo Tribal Council, which is the official governing body of the tribe, for 15 years. He took the matter to the Kickapoo Tribal Court, filing a petition for “declaratory judgment and other relief” on Oct. 25, 2018.

Leanda Simon, the administrator of the tribal court in Horton, said in an email on Monday that she had not received an opinion on the case from the judge.

“I will come to pick up honor,” Bradley said. “I’m a little disappointed I won’t be able to address the graduates.”

As a former member of the Haskell National Board of Regents, Bradley said he had welcomed and encouraged many of the graduating seniors when they were freshmen.


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