Casino angle in Paskenta Band feud attracts national attention

The Rolling Hills Casino. Photo from Facebook

An ongoing leadership and membership dispute within the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California is attracting mainstream media attention.

The feud began in April as has been covered extensively by the local media. It finally hit The Washington Post and The New York Times, which carried an Associated Press story, after a judge barred rival factions of the tribe from interfering with the Rolling Hills Casino and after some of the more salacious details were reported.

Armed guards were stationed at the casino up until early last week. The facility appears to be operating normally despite attempts by one faction to disrupt some of the computer systems there.

"Some of the Casino's 500 employees gathered for a group photo yesterday to celebrate a return to normal operations without the need for additional security at the entrances," the casino said on Facebook. "Our employees appreciate continued community support as they strive to provide the best customer service possible to make Rolling Hills Casino one of your favorite destinations in the North State."

Chairman Andy Freeman has accused his rivals of stealing $10 million from the tribe. But no charges have been filed as the amount of the alleged theft rose steadily each time he sent out a press release.

A rival group of four council members admitted they tried to infiltrate the casino's IT systems. They hired their own police chief who resigned after less than a month on the job.

The dispute began when Freeman suspended 76 members of a family and said the four council members resigned their posts. He claims a new council has been elected but the Bureau of Indian Affairs has not recognized the results.

Get the Story:
Grocery bags full of cash, a missing jet and the armed fight for a Native American casino (The Washington Post 6/23)
Attorney General Sues to Halt Armed Inter-Tribal Warfare over Northern California Casino (AllGov 6/23)
Guns Banned From Indian Casino in California (AP 6/21)

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