In a letter last week to REGGIE LEWIS, Chairman of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated it is withholding funding and suspending all grant applications after Nancy Ayala used a previous EPA letter to claim the agency recognized her as Chair of the Chukchansi Tribe. The EPA will not take any action until the U.S. Department of the Interior makes a decision regarding the leadership of the Chukchansi Tribe.
"Nancy Ayala's deceitful actions are starting to catch up with her," said Chairman Lewis. "As she has been doing for months, she was only thinking about herself and thought that she could dishonestly crop a letter from the EPA to make it look like she is the Tribal Chair. Now she has harmed all Tribal members by forcing the EPA to deny grant funding."
Chairman Lewis expects a similar backlash from the BIA after Ayala also cropped a portion of a letter from BIA Superintendent Troy Burdick in an attempt to persuade Tribal members and the public to believe the BIA had recognized her as Tribal Chair.
Chairman Lewis added, "It is important that we let this dispute be decided in the proper forum, which is with the BIA and the court system. It is unfortunate that Nancy Ayala repeatedly engages in this behavior in order to give the appearance to Tribal members and the public that she has any authority."