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McDonald faction hires new tribal police chief

Determined to resolve the ongoing leadership conflict that has seriously impacted the economy and families of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, the on-rancheria tribal council headed by Chairman Tex McDonald has hired a new Tribal Police Chief. John Oliveira, a decorated military veteran and experienced leader in the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, will begin work immediately.

Chief Oliveira, a former Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, brings over 25 years of law enforcement and security experience to the position. During his tenure with the BIA, Oliveira served as National Child Abuse Coordinator, Special Response Team Commander, and Commander of the Great Basin Narcotics and ARPA Task Force. He received meritorious commendations from the Secretary of Interior for actions during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in Washington D.C. and for his work as an Incident Commander during Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. In addition, Oliveira received U.S. Senatorial Recognition for his work with Native American victims of crime and was a finalist for the Service to America Justice Medal. Mr. Oliveira served six years in Iraq as a mentor/operator with the Counter Terrorism Special Operations Force. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

“The Council could not be more impressed with Chief Oliveira’s qualifications and with his passion for working in Indian Country,” said Chairman McDonald. “The chief gets it. We need to work hard to be impartial and to restore our people’s faith in our Tribe’s leadership. It’s unacceptable to have leaders operating out of self-interest. No one is above the law in our Tribe and that’s what we’ve hired Chief Oliveira to enforce.”

Oliveira’s appointment comes as part of a Council effort to realign and solidify the law enforcement on the Rancheria. This effort includes reinvigorating the Tribal Court. Also, the Council recently adopted a resolution committing the Tribe to provisions of Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) – a law which includes a process for establishing a Tribal Court and Police Department. As a part of Resolution 2014-002, Chief Oliveira will be required to enforce tribal law in a fair and impartial manner.

- Picayune Rancheria

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