Tribal factions collide at Chukchansi Gold hotel-casino
The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians seated a new tribal council Monday night in front of a standing-room only crowd at Oakhurst Community Center.
The council members were elected Oct. 3 in a seven-seat, full council election.
The council named Claudia Gonzales as its chair; Nokomis Hernandez, vice-chair; Tom Walker, secretary; and Dixie Jackson, treasurer.
Members at-large are Morris Reid, Harold Hammond and Dora Jones.
In the coming weeks, the new council will work on reaching agreement with Madera County on public safety and other financial issues to move toward getting Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino near Coarsegold re-opened.
After the county reaches agreement, the tribe needs approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission, state Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. District Court in Fresno to re-start operations.