COARSEGOLD, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--A Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians bond payment plan – authored by the Ayala Quorum Council and its lawyers – has been approved by Wells Fargo Bank, the Trustee overseeing the Chukchansi Tribe’s bond indenture, said Tribal Council Chairwoman Nancy Ayala. The plan paves the way for the Chukchansi Tribe to pay the $6.2 million balance of its September 30th bond obligation by year’s end, said Ayala.
“The more the Lewis-Alberta group wastes time and money trying to hurt their own people, the more determined we are to keep getting things done. The welfare of our Tribe and our economy is too important to sacrifice in a silly legal fight.”
The Trustee’s approval, said Ayala, together with a previous court ruling allows management of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino to immediately make a monthly payment of about $1 million to the Ayala Quorum Council Tribal Government and the Ayala-aligned Tribal Gaming Commission and CEDA Board – despite the strenuous objections of a rogue faction led by former Council members Reggie Lewis and Chance Alberta.
The government funds will flow to Tribe Members in the form of per capita payments and services, said Ayala, including elder services, rental assistance, scholarships, and utility and grocery assistance. The payment to the Ayala-aligned entities also means employees and contractors of the Tribe will be paid and Tribal businesses will continue to operate, according to the Chairwoman.
“This is huge,” said Ayala. “While the Lewis-Alberta faction continues to work to sabotage our Tribe, stopping members' services and much-needed payments, this decision is a victory for our more than 900 members, our employees, our bondholders and our business partners. This means we can get current on our financial obligations as soon as possible. I am thrilled.”
Tribal Council Treasurer Dr. Karen Wynn and Secretary Tracey Brechbuehl echoed Ayala’s satisfaction at the Trustee’s decision. Said Wynn: “The more the Lewis-Alberta group wastes time and money trying to hurt their own people, the more determined we are to keep getting things done. The welfare of our Tribe and our economy is too important to sacrifice in a silly legal fight.”
Said Brechbuehl: “We have families who need their per capita, elders who need assistance and children who need to pay tuition. These folks won today. The last thing our people need is for business to come to a stop and for our Casino to close. The Lewis-Alberta faction keeps trying to do that. Fortunately, they keep losing.”
The Ayala Quorum Council’s additional approval of $2 million in payments -- $1 million to the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team for naming rights and $1 million in grants to groups all across Madera County – came at exactly the right time.
“We have legal obligations to our neighbors and to our business partners,” said Ayala. “Our word has to mean something. We need to support the people we’ve made legal promises to support. Today, we kept our word to the citizens of Madera County.”
Awardees of the Chukchansi Tribal Grants will be announced at the next meeting of the Madera County Board of Supervisors, scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, 2013.