Monday, May 11, 2009

David Roosevelt NEW Leader of Cabazon Band of Mission Indians

James out as Cabazon tribal chair

Roosevelt is new leader in vote James says showed group wanted change

Debra Gruszecki
The Desert Sun

INDIO — John A. James has been voted out of power by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.

James was 46 when he was elected tribal secretary-treasurer on May 14, 1977, and was elevated to the role of tribal chairman in 1989.

Shortly after last week's vote, second vice-chairman David Roosevelt was elected to chair the tribe. James was named to the honorary and paid post of Tribal Elder.

“They decided to go with the young bloods,” James said this week, as the tribal leader confirmed the council shakeup. “When they started their pitch, I said I was all set to retire, but with the economy turned on its face, this isn't the time to change command.”

Ultimately, James said the election showed the group wanted change.

“It was the old newer-is-better speech,” he said.

Roosevelt, who had completed serving a four-year term as second vice chairman, did not return calls for comment. Nor did others affiliated with the tribe, or the Cabazon Band's Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and Special Events Center in Indio.

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