COARSEGOLD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Chukchansi Tribal Council, headed by Tribal Chairwoman Nancy Ayala, this morning alerted Tribe members to an illegally called meeting of the Tribe’s General Council – and to an illegal voting process marred by bribes of as much as $1,000 per person to members of the Chukchansi Tribe.
The illegal meeting, held off the Picayune Rancheria and called by former Tribal Council members Reggie Lewis, Chance Alberta and Carl “Buzz” Bushman, violates the Chukchansi Constitution, which mandates that such meetings can only be called by the Tribe’s Chairperson and by a quorum of the Council, said Ayala. The Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs recognized Ayala as Chairwoman in a May 15, 2013 ruling which also recognized Treasurer Dr. Karen Wynn, Secretary Tracey Brechbuehl and Member-At-Large Charles Sargosa as rightful members of the Council – thus comprising a Quorum headquartered on the Rancheria, said Ayala.
“The Lewis-Alberta faction continues to do everything it can to sabotage our Tribe and sow confusion among our people,” said Chairwoman Ayala. “This illegal meeting, the illegal resolutions and the Lewis-Alberta group’s try at seizing power are more of the same story: A group of men who have siphoned millions of dollars from our Tribe trying their best to cover their tracks and again dip their hand into Tribal funds. We will not let it stand.”
Wynn, the Tribe’s treasurer, questioned the Lewis-Alberta’s $1,000-per-person bribes and the use of Indian Dispute Resolution Services, a group with years-long ties to Joyce Burel, a Lewis relative, to preside over the illegal referendum. “Bribing people to come to a meeting and vote in a rigged election flies in the face of our Constitution,” said Wynn. “If the Lewis-Alberta fraud didn’t harm our Tribe so badly, it would almost be a joke. Everything they do is about protecting their own wrongdoing from discovery, not about helping our people.”
Said Brechbuehl and Sargosa: “If you don’t have the authority to call a General Council meeting, as established by our Tribe’s Constitution, then everything after that makes no difference at all – especially when you have to bribe people to show up. Reggie Lewis and Chance Alberta might as well have stayed in their glass castle in Fresno, because they do not represent the Chukchansi people. No Council, no federal agency and no Court have ruled that they do. Them saying it does not make it so.”