LAME DEER, Mont. (AP) — The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs says officials with a Montana Indian tribe acted within their authority when they removed the tribe's president from office for reportedly neglecting his duties.

The Billings Gazette reported Tuesday that the federal agency declared its backing for the decision to remove President Jace Killsback in a letter to the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council.

The council said in a statement that the BIA decision "removes any doubt" that its members were within their rights to remove Killsback. His ouster came Oct. 5 on a 9-1 vote.

Killsback has said he will continue opposing the action, which he contends was illegal because it went against a judgment by the Cheyenne Constitutional Court.

___

Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com