Local Tribal Chairperson Resigns

April 16, 2008 8:10:59 PM PDT
The tribal chairperson of a local tribe planning to build a mega-casino on Highway 99 has abruptly resigned.The North Fork Mono tribal council was stunned by the sudden resignation of tribal chair Jacque Davis-Van Huss on Tuesday. She held the position for just six months.

Davis-Van Huss she did not wish to speak with Action News but new tribal chair Elaine Bethel Fink read a portion of her resignation letter. Bethel Fink said "It says recent events that have transpired have forced me to re-evaluate my future so she has resigned."

Madera County Sheriff's detectives are now looking into a complaint filed this month. It accuses three tribal members of misusing 8-thousand dollars in funds. We're told Jacque Davis-Van Huss was not targeted in the investigation. Bethel added "We treasure what Jackie has done for us. Jackie is well-spoken. She is very instrumental in the project."

The tribe holds gatherings in a community center in scenic North Fork but a massive hotel-casino on Highway 99 in Madera County represents the ultimate dream.

Bethel Fink doesn't think the change in leadership will slow progress on the project. She said "we've been delayed because of some processes we've gone through. We're still looking at the possibility of 2009-2010 hopefully." The tribe still needs to sign a compact with the governor and have land put into trust.

Jacque Davis-Van Huss remains a member of the tribe at this time. Elaine Bethel Fink had served as tribal chairperson for six years until Davis Van-Huss was voted in.


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