Law | Politics

New leaders claim to be in control of Chukchansi Tribe council

A leadership dispute within the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California seems to be getting messier.

Three factions have been battling for control of the tribe for more than three years. Now, a fourth group led by Charles "Tex" McDonald claims to be in charge.

"I'm very proud to have the chance to serve the Chukchansi people as the Council's chairman," McDonald said in a press release. "I ran for Council to raise the quality of life for every Tribe member and to protect future generations from the greed of rogue factions determined to sabotage our Tribe. I will not rest until we win this fight for our people."

McDonald said he is in charge of a seven-member council. His group does not include any of the leaders from the rival factions.

In February, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said it would do business with an interim council. But a judge for the Interior Board of Indian Appeals declined to embrace the decision.

The lack of a recognized council could lead to the loss of federal funds for the tribe.

Get the Story:
New top leaders named for Chukchansi Tribe Council (The Central Valley Business Times 5/5)
Chukchansi tribal leadership uncertain again after judge's ruling (The Fresno Bee 4/18)

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