Law | Politics

Supreme Court won't hear Winnemucca leadership dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition in Winnemucca Colony Council v. Wasson, a tribal leadership dispute.

The dispute began in 2000 with the still-unsolved murder of Glenn Wasson, who was the chairman of the Winnemucca Colony Council in Nevada. At the time, Wasson was disputing the legitimacy of William Bills, who later said he was in charge.

A rival group led by Sharon Wasson also claimed to be in charge of the tribe. After years of litigation in federal court, the Bills group and the Wasson group agreed to let a panel of tribal court judges resolve the matter.

The Wasson group won control, including $400,000 in a tribal bank account. The Bills group challenged the ruling but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, recognized the tribal court decision "on principles of comity."

The Bills group asked the Supreme Court to review the case but the justices declined in an order list released today.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Winnemucca Colony Council v. Wasson.

Related Stories:
Murder of ex-Winnemucca chair leads to chaos (11/23)
Murder of ex-Winnemucca chair still unsolved (11/22)
Alleged leader of Nevada tribe said to be Filipino (10/05)
Alleged Indian chief charged with fraud in California (9/30)
Tribe of man seeking casino in leadership dispute (06/10)

Join the Conversation