Advertise:   712.224.5420

Murder of ex-Winnemucca chair leads to chaos

The unsolved murder of Glenn Wasson, the chairman of the Winnemucca Indian Colony in Nevada, has led to chaos within the small tribe.

Wasson, 86, was murdered in February 2000, shortly after he said he would oust a man who is Filipino by blood but had been adopted into the tribe. That man, William Bills, took over the tribe after Wasson was killed.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs recognized Bills as chairman despite questions about his ancestry, KOLO-TV reports. The BIA then recognized Wasson's brother as the leader but now says the tribe is "dysfunctional" and without a legitimate government.

That isn't stopping the tribe's only business -- a smoke shop -- from bringing in money. A man whom Bills brought in continues to operate the shop and says payments are going into the tribe's accounts.

Meanwhile, two rival councils continue to meet. One council is in exile in Reno while the other meets on the reservation. Neither is recognized by the BIA, who says the matter has to be resolved through tribal means before getting involved.

The council in Reno say the BIA has watched as $2 million in proceeds from the smoke shop has been stolen from the tribe. The BIA says it can't interfere with the business.

Get the Story:
Murder On The Reservation - 2 (KOLO 11/22)

Related Stories:
Murder of ex-Winnemucca chair still unsolved (11/22)
Alleged leader of Nevada tribe said to be Filipino (10/05)
Alleged Indian chief charged with fraud in California (9/30)
Tribe of man seeking casino in leadership dispute (06/10)