Embattled Northern California tribe elects four members to tribal council

A Northern California tribe that has been the subject of internal power struggles and an audit alleging the mismanagement of millions of dollars elected four members Saturday to its tribal council.

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians elected Latisha Miller as vice chairperson, Andrew Alejandre as secretary, Ambrosia Rico the treasurer and Natasha Magana a member at-large. The elections formally ended the leadership of ousted council member Leslie Lohse, according to a news release issued by an attorney who represents Tribal Chairman Andrew Freeman.

The winning slate of candidates received 138 of 199 votes, according to the media release.

An audit of the tribe, which runs the Rolling Hills Casino near Corning off of Interstate 5, alleged that former leaders of the tribe spent $17 million in private jet travel and $450,000 on tickets to the World Series, the Final Four college basketball tournament and other sporting events.

Freeman had suspended three members of the tribe council – including Lohse – this spring over questions regarding their tribal eligibility, setting up a struggle for control of the tribe and Saturday’s election.