A meeting scheduled in Sacramento for today between two factions seeking to govern the Chukchansi tribe could determine whether Madera County sheriff’s deputies will have to remain on post in Coarsegold near tribal headquarters.
Deputies remained in place Thursday at a command center near Chukchansi tribal headquarters off Highway 41 to try to keep opposing sides in the tribal government dispute at peace and to prevent a violent confrontation — such as occurred exactly a year before — from breaking out.
On Feb. 27, 2012, a faction of Chukchansi tribal members who had won a Dec. 3, 2011, tribal council election occupied the tribal government buildings located across the street from the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, which is owned by the tribe. Members of the previous government, led by Reggie Lewis, reoccupied the premises, and fights broke out. One person was stabbed. Sheriff’s deputies showed up to restore order, and a truce of sorts was achieved.
Since then, the tribal headquarters property has been barricaded, and the dispute has been confined to the courts...