Law | Politics

BIA tells Robinson Rancheria chairwoman to hold new election

Tracey Isabelle Avila, the chairwoman of the Robinson Rancheria Pomo Indians of California, is facing trouble on numerous fronts.

Avila has been charged in state court with one count of felony grand theft. She is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the Elem Pomo Tribe, where she once worked as fiscal officer.

When interviewed by the FBI about the missing money, Avila threatened to implicate Elem Pomo leaders, The Lake County News reported. She's due to appear in court on October 31.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has told Avila to schedule a new election. She lost her re-election bid in 2008 but has been holding on to power despite calls for a new vote.

“In order to maintain a government-to-government relationship with the tribe, the Agency is responsible to ensure we are working with duly elected tribal officials that were property voted into office in accordance with tribal law,” BIA Central California Agency Superintendent Troy Burdick wrote in a letter to Avlia, The Lake County News reported. “Failure to hold tribal elections can be viewed as failure to accord tribal members due process and equal protection as mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968.”

Get the Story:
Federal investigation leads to tribal chair's arrest (The Lake County News 9/15)

Related Stories:
Robinson Rancheria chair accused of theft from another tribe (9/13)

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