|Fredrick Chino, Sr.|
The action was taken to facilitate an operational and programmatic review of the tribe's activities over the next month, according to information from Acting President Alfred La Paz, who is a member of the tribal council and was serving as council secretary.
"While the vote to place the president and vice president on leave was not unanimous, the tribal council will be working unanimously over the next month to ensure the smooth operation of tribal government," La Paz stated. "It is my understanding that a number of council members had concerns about the level of communication that existed between the president and the council."
Frederick Chino Sr. took the oath of office as president in January 2012. He recently spoke of plans to provide future employment for tribal members. Those plans included allowing exploratory drilling in the Pajarito Mountain area for possible future mining of rare earth elements, as well as acquisition of U.S. Forest Service land to bring all of Ski Apache Resort into the reservation.
Removal of tribal administration figures is not without precedent. After the death of longtime President Wendell Chino in 1998, his successor Paul Ortega and Vice President Oliver Enjady were removed months later. In that case, Sara Misquez, who had served as administrative assistant to the elder Chino, was installed as president.
La Paz retired as a captain from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement division after a 30-year career. He has served on the tribal council since 2001. Read more