carlos saucedo, Chukchansi Tribe, Election, fresno, fresno county, gold resort & casino, local, Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, Referendum, Tribal Council
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Chukchansi Tribe has elected a new governing council which follows a year of bitter fighting between two factions. But opponents are calling the election illegal. The group in power says yesterday's referendum to call an election was Constitutional. The other side disputes that calling the actions illegal. This comes almost a year after the tribal government office was taken over.
There was a chaotic scene almost a year ago as two factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians disputed over tribal council election results. But it was a much different atmosphere Thursday night after a new council was elected under the direction of Tribal Chairwoman Nancy Ayala. Ayala said, "A referendum was handed to me last night, with 30 percent of those qualified voters' signatures on that."
The tribe's constitution requires 30 percent of qualified enrolled members to call for an election. Ayala says an independent audit revealed there are only 46 legally enrolled members. But opponents say there are more than 200 members many of which are being dis-enrolled.