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Ex-Spokane council member alleges retaliation

A former council member for the Spokane Tribe of Washington says he was forced out of his position in the city of Spokane due to tribal retaliation.

Ronald "Buzz" Gutierrez sat on the city's Native American Public Development Authority. But he was pushed out by city councilwoman Mary Verner, who is employed as executive director by the Upper Columbia United Tribes.

Verner wrote a letter to city officials seeking Gutierrez's ouster after he lost his bid for re-election to the tribal council. She said she sees no conflict even though UCUT is controlled, in part, by tribal leaders who oppose Gutierrez and asked for his removal.

Separately, a gaming facility run by Gutierrez's family was closed by the Spokane Tribe.

Get the Story:
Verner conflict alleged in ouster (The Spokesman Review 4/5)

Relevant Links:
Spokane Tribe -
Upper Columbia United Tribes -

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Tribal member laments forced closure of casino (10/28)