Four Sworn In to Ethics Commission

11.7.19 – Recently elected Ethics Commission members Shawnna Wabaunsee, Melinda Cooper-Williamson, Virginia LeClere and Dale Delg recite the oath of office to PBPN Chairman Joseph Rupnick at an official swearing-in ceremony.

BY: Michelle Simon

At a brief ceremony held on Thursday, November 7, 2019, four newly elected Ethics Commission members were officially sworn into their roles.

Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Chairman Joseph Rupnick officiated the event at the old bingo hall, swearing-in Dale Delg as the Ethics Chairperson, Virginia LeClere as the Ethics Secretary, and Melinda Cooper-Williamson as Commissioner #1 and Shawnna Wabaunsee as Commissioner #2. All candidates ran uncontested. No one ran for Commissioner #3 which remains vacant. The group joins Jean Howley, Ethics Vice-chairperson who was elected in 2018.

This is Delg and Cooper-Williamson’s first time to hold an elected position for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, while LeClere and Wabaunsee have both previously served. Upon the formation of the Ethics Commission in 2008, LeClere was elected as the Ethics Commission’s first secretary and served through 2015, in April 2019 she was appointed by Tribal Council to serve as interim Ethics Commission Secretary. Wabaunsee previously served as a Gaming Commissioner from 1996 through 2000.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Ethics Commission is tasked with addressing the ethical behavior of elected and appointed officials of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation as stated in the Code of Ethics.

2019 Ethics Commission Special Election Results

Ethics Commission Terms
Dale Delg – Chairperson – 2019 to 2021

Jean Howley – Vice Chairperson – 2018 to 2021

Virginia LeClere – Secretary – 2019 to 2021

Melinda Cooper-Williamson – Commissioner #1 – 2019 to 2020

Shawnna Wabaunsee – Commissioner #2 – 2019 to 2022

Vacant – Commissioner #3 – 2019 to 2022


After the swearing-in cake was served to all in attendance.


Dale Delg, Ethics Commission Chairman.


Virginia “Osh” LeClere, Ethics Commission Secretary, with her family Dawn “Sogi” and Cindy LeClere.


A candid shot of Melinda Williamson, Ethics Commissioner #1 and Jason Hale, after the ceremony.


Ethics Commissioner #1, Melinda Williamson, who works for the PBPN Language program, and her co-workers Ella Garcia, Dawn LeClere, Pom Hubbard, and Cindy LeClere.


Ethics Commissioner #2, Shawnna Wabaunsee with her family, Elizabeth Wabaunsee-Tye, Drusa Wabaunsee and Carrie O’Toole.