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Tribal troubles continue for Corning casino owners

Published On: May 01 2014 08:55:16 PM CDT
Tribal troubles continue for Corning casino owners
CORNING, Calif. -

Troubles continue for the tribe who owns Rolling Hills Casino along I-5 in Corning.

Two sides have formed in the Paskenta band of the Nomlaki Indians tribe.

The current tribal chairman, Andy Freeman, along with his newly formed administration says more than $1 Million for tribal funds was taken illegally.

That group took action, excluding those they believe are responsible. They also named two families who were suspended by the tribe’s general council on April 12.

A spokesperson for the tribe, with the chairman by her side, stated that she believes the right decision has been made.

“The general council, they're the voice of our tribe and they've spoken. And as far as the misappropriation of funds and the investigation that's going on, you know the law enforcement, the legal process will play out and we'll move on from there,” said Ambrosia Rico.

As for the other side, a representative for the four ousted members of the tribal council that are still currently recognized by the Federal Government, reached out to us today via email and over the phone.

Those members are currently banned from casino property, which they say is now teeming with armed guards.

They had this to say about control over the tribe in a statement: "We are currently working to resolve an internal tribal dispute that has created a momentary rift." The statement continues, "The cause of the rift was initiated by a handful of casino executive staff, who are not tribal members."

Tehama County Sheriff’s investigators say they are “not actively investigating” this matter in anyway “criminally”.

The National Indian Gaming Commission has expressed concern about who is currently in charge verses who was legally elected.

If they believe a group outside the one they legally recognize is running the casino, they could issue a notice of violation.