FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The man arrested last year after a fight at Chukchansi Casino is talking about his time in jail and his hopes for the tribe.
Tex McDonald is no longer the tribal chair. He says he likes it better that way. Thursday he sat down to discuss why he accepted a plea deal and what is standing in the way of the casino re-opening.
McDonald has spent the past few weeks getting caught up on all he missed while he was locked up.
"I am doing a lot of yardwork and I've been coming over here," said McDonald. "Yesterday I came over here to clean up and getting the feel of everything."
He is no longer the leader of what was known as the Tex McDonald Faction, and he is fine taking a back seat.
"It's a big responsibility, you have a lot to think about, and I did my, I tried what my solution was to work and it didn't," said McDonald. "So I'm going to let somebody else try theirs."
Chukchansi Casino remains closed, a federal court hearing to determine the future of the property will take place in 2016. For now, McDonald is still involved as a tribal council member, but focusing on his family. Two of his sisters are battling cancer.
McDonald explained, "That was the main reason I took the deal was to help them to cross over into the spirit world."
Days after his release McDonald met with the other tribal faction. So far, he says no conflicts were resolved and there is still a deep division.
"Our goal is to open the casino, that's what our council wants, to open the casino," said McDonald. "But everybody has to work together to do it. That is the main problem we are facing right now."
For the moment, McDonald says, he is operating out of his tribal offices across the street from the casino. He says he has not stepped foot on casino grounds, for fear it will cause even more problems with the other faction.
Tex McDonald says he would like the federal government to audit and investigate the financial records of the casino to determine whether the books are balanced for the future.
I hope the tribe can begin a healing process. It is never too late to put thing in order that are out of place. Ego's pride, and the seduction of wealth and power have hurt this tribe greatly. The can recover if they are willing to make and do the right things that are good for the people and the land. Rediscover your heritage and community first, the rest will happen when you all take responsibility for yourself and your tribe. I pray that Pechanga will learn these simple lessons. The lesson is simple, but living the lesson is hard.
The Tex McDonald faction claimed they would step down with the IBIA decision. They did not follow their own words. Tex has never won an election, and yet claims leadership. The general membership is so sick of factions and rogue leadership. Our hearts ache for a fair election. I hope the Tex McDonald faction can come to terms with their pride. I hope they dismantle their faction and start coming to meetings with the rest of us. If they feel they can govern the tribe better than anyone else then they need to prepare a letter of intent and come to Nomination night on 4th Monday of the month. The division of the tribe doesn't have to exist.
Nickey - Reggie and his faction was voted out but still took control of the casino, stole money and caused the casino to close due to audits not being submitted on time. He's still in charge and stealing money. Bunch of hypocrites and thieves.
"Opening the casino", is the tribes main concern? Sad, they have bigger issues than that. Now tell me disenrollment isn't about the money?
The only thing Tex " Dumbfuck " Mcdonald led was the casino to close. Fucking idiot
Tex isn't the reason for the closure of the Chukchansi gold casino, if you really knew what you were talking about it goes farther than the Tex McDonald Era. the casino is closed because people got to greedy and began to believe that they are untouchable and mighty powerful. they stopped looking out for the Tribe and started looking out for their immediate family. Do you recall the event that led to a stabbing and "trying to burn out the rats"? Do you recall the audits that were not produced? Do you recall the missing 40+ million dollars missing? Isn't it crazy how the casino is closed and per cap/benefits are gone, but they are still receiving paychecks, its not from the federal funds, because those are just coming in, Do you recall Reggie and his group taking money from accounts before the big blowup meeting? Do you recall that they are still inside a building that is still being leased and they are making monthly payments, but there is no funds? I think the main concern isn't the opening of the casino, because if the reggie group/2010 council is still in charge, who is to say we won't be in this position again in a year or two. Everytime someone gets mad, instead of being adults they take their ball and go home, along with other documents and money withdrawal. Healing needs to take place and so does some common sense, but I'm afraid that the people are only hearing "opening of the casino" and not looking at the big picture. hopefully you all that are apart of the tribe are praying to the creator that lives will be healed, changed, the stealing/dirty deeds will stop and the casino will be properly ran by a management team properly.
���������� about time someone sees the light
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