Former tribal leader dies in prison at 48

·1 min read

Sep. 10—TRAVERSE CITY — A former tribal leader who was serving time for several convictions of criminal sexual conduct has died.

Derek J. Bailey, 48, died Sept. 8 of what is being called a cardiac episode, though no official cause of death has yet been determined by the medical examiner, said Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Bailey was found unresponsive in his cell Sept. 2 and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, Gautz said. He was later airlifted to another hospital downstate, Gautz said.

Bailey was serving 25 to 50 years at the Kinross Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula after being convicted in 2016 of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault with a person under 13 in Grand Traverse County. He was also serving 10 to 15 years on Leelanau County convictions from 2016 on two counts of second-degree CSC with a person over 13 but under 16.

All of his sentences were being served concurrently.

Bailey served as tribal councilor of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians from 2004 to 2008 before becoming the GTB's fifth tribal chairman, a post he resigned from in 2015. He received a presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education from Pres. Barack Obama, and was defeated in 2012 in a bid for a Michigan House of Representatives seat.

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