Law | Politics

Seneca Nation sanctioned council member for incident at bar

Just hours before leaders of the Seneca Nation attended the announcement of a new committee to foster tribal-state relations, a council member was involved in an altercation involving a prominent lobbyist.

Bryan Gonzales struck John "Jack" O'Donnell so hard that O'Donnell fell off his barstool and onto the floor, The Albany-Times Union reported. However, a police officer gave a slightly different account and said O'Donnell was only pushed off his stool.

The injuries "didn't seem significant," Deputy Albany Police Chief Stephen Reilly told The Buffalo News.

O'Donnell was taken to a hospital for treatment. Gonzales could face a harassment charge for the incident, which occurred early Tuesday.

A few hours later, tribal leaders hailed the new Committee on State-Native American Relations at the New York State Senate. Gonzales, however, was not present.

Richard E. Nephew, the chairman of the tribal council, said Gonzales has been suspended without pay for 31 days, and was ordered to attend an employee assistance program and to pay for his travel to Albany. He was also told to apologize to O'Donnell.

Get the Story:
Police: Tribal leader hit man (The Albany Times-Union 5/5)
Seneca Nation council member accused of shoving Buffalo lobbyist (The Buffalo News 5/5)

Related Stories:
New York Senate creates new committee for tribal relations (5/4)

Join the Conversation