Judge Rejean Paul, chairman of the Cree-Naskapi Commission and the man responsible for keeping Cree politics honest, is now under investigation himself by the RCMP, according to the office of Federal Judicial Affairs in Ottawa.

Judicial Commissioner Guy Goulard said he received allegations of irregularities in Judge Paul’s expense accounts and requested the federally appointed Judge be investigated.

“It’s the first time in the three years I’ve been working here that I’ve had to do that. It’s totally uncommon.” said Goulard.

Judge Paul has been working alongside Crees for the past ten years.

When the news of the RCMP investigation first broke on CBC radio, the Grand Council of the Crees was stunned.

“The CBC reporter left his audience with the impression that Crees were the ones who had lodged the complaint against the Judge,” said Brian Craik of the Grand Council.

In a strongly worded press release, the Grand Council denied their organization or any of the nine Cree bands had made any complaints against the Judge.

“Judge Paul is well-known in the Cree community,” the press release said. “He has taken the time to understand complex problems that have arisen in the process of managing Cree affairs. He is well respected and known in the Cree community.”

However, sources within Cree politics noted that anyone responsible for keeping politics ethical and honest is in a position to make enemies.

Goulard, who received the allegations, refused to say who made them, but he said it didn’t come from Crees.

According to the Grand Council press release, the Judge has been very good for the Crees, as well as Canada and Quebec. The press release stated that Crees reaffirmed their support for Judge Paul when he was re-nominated to the Cree-Naskapi Commission last year.

Judge Paul has been with the Commission since 1986.

In 1989 Judge Paul mediated discussions between the Crees, Canada and Quebec leading to an Agreement to create the community of Ouje-Bougoumou. The Judge has also help out in many other discussions between the Crees and governments, including agreements for band financing.

Judge Paul, who also hears Federal court cases, volunteered to step down as a presiding judge until investigations are complete, said Goulard. It was not known how long this would take, he added.

Both Goulard and the RCMP said that any comments on the investigation would be inappropriate at this time.

Pierre Tourangeau, the CBC reporter who broke the story, said he was mad when he saw the Grand Council press release. Tourangeau said that he never said the Grand Council or the Cree Bands had made the complaint. “I said that the Cree-Naskapi Commisson made the complaint. I guess their was some inadvertant confusion between the Cree-Naskapi Commission and the Cree. The Cree are free to defend Judge Paul but I was just reporting what I knew.” said Tourangeau.