Members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe are “not interested” in an apology issued by high-ranking officials at ACD.net, the telecommunications company whose CFO was caught on tape uttering racially-charged comments over a voicemail.
Tribal leaders said the voicemail message was left on tribal engineer Donald Seal’s phone on May 6 by CFO Kirk Shewchuck of ACD.net, which is based in Lansing. The tribe also believes that Shewchuck was speaking to company CEO Kevin Schoen at the time the voicemail was recorded.
The tribe learned soon after releasing audio of the incident and an associated press release that Shewchuck is in fact a member of the Sioux tribe.
“ACD.net reached out to us after we sent out our (press) release, but we are not interested,” said Frank Cloutier, the public relations director for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. “Once we learned about Mr. Shewchuck’s heritage, that just made it all the worse.”
ACD.net public information officer Joe Ross would not confirm that Schoen was one of the voices heard on the recording.
“I’ve known these guys (Schoen and Shewchuck) for years now,” Ross said. “They are good people. They have no malice.”
Cloutier said the tribe waited several weeks to release the audio recordings and make public comment for “legal reasons.”
‘We wanted to make sure we didn’t have a Homeland Security issue,” he said.
“We’ll see what happens,” Shewchuck is believed to have said on the message. “Those f***ing Indians. Let’s call them red man. You know what? F**k you! Let’s sic the Sioux Tribe on you. Let’s get a good ‘ol fashioned Indian war going!”