Another example of a California's Indian Country tribe sqabbling. This time the SANTA YSABEL tribal chairman is seeking to be all powerful chief of tribe. Tribal leaders across the country know that California is giving a bad name to all Indian Tribes.
In a bitter ongoing feud, the chairman of Santa Ysabel Band of Mission Indians is attempting to unilaterally remove the North County tribe's vice chairwoman from her elected post.Both sides are expected to meet Tuesday at the Inter-Tribal Court in Rincon to discuss the removal.
In a letter dated Dec. 29, 2008, Chairman Johnny Hernandez told Vice Chairwoman Brandie Taylor that he had decided to remove her from her duties for "blatant insubordination."Taylor wrote back in a letter, addressed to the tribal court, that Hernandez did not have the power to remove her. She said the only legal ways to remove a vice chairwoman were through a recall process or through a legislative removal process.
That's a matter that will have to be resolved in court, said Cesar Luna, an attorney representing Hernandez."I understand those arguments," Luna said. The tribe's constitution "can lend itself to that argumentation, and that question should probably be resolved by the court."
In her letter, Taylor alleges that Hernandez defamed her by forwarding the removal letter to other tribal leaders and tribal organizations that she works with. She is asking the court to award her $10,000 in punitive damages."I believe that this letter has tainted my reputation as a professional woman tribal leader," Taylor wrote.
Taylor also is seeking an injunction barring Hernandez from removing her.Critics opposed to Hernandez say he has overstepped his authority on several occasions."
It's starting to get ridiculous," said June Sortore, a tribal member who is seeking to remove Hernandez from office
Read Edward Sifuentes article here