Chukchansi Tribe sees departure of last gaming commissioner

The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, California. Photo from Facebook

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in California has lost all three of its gaming commissioners.

Norm DesRosiers, a former member of the National Indian Gaming Commission, Harlan Goodson and Lael Echo-Hawk all resigned last week, The Fresno Bee reported. Kammy Chhom, who was the executive director of the tribe's regulatory body, also quit, complicating plans to reopen the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino.

“We have to get that taken care of,” Chairman Reggie Lewis told the paper. “Without a gaming commission in place, we can’t open the casino.”

The commissioners resigned because the tribal council interfered with the executive director position, the paper reported. Chukchansi leaders were apparently trying to fire Chhom and hire someone else even though they lack the authority under the tribe's gaming ordinance.

The casino shut down on October 9, 2014 after rival factions clashed there. The situation prompted the NIGC to issue a notice of violation and a temporary closure order that remains in place. A federal judge also issued a preliminary injunction at the request of the state of California.

Get the Story:
Chukchansi Gold’s latest setback requires time to resolve (The Fresno Bee 9/23)

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