Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of Nevada


Ousted Paiutes have taken their case to tribal court. The outcome of a Dec. 14, closed hearing was expected to determine who is entitled to millions of dollars in future tribal revenues, mostly from a tax-free smoke shop on North Main Street and golf courses off Highway 95. Tribal Judge Terra Coffing heard arguments from both attorneys on whether Coffing has jurisdiction over the case but gave no indication of when a ruling might be issued. The controversy started about 18 months ago when the tribal council voted to remove 14 members. The decision prevents each of the disenfranchised from collecting about $100,000 in annual tribal payments. The council - led by chairman Curtis Anderson - determined that the 14 could not prove their bloodline was 25 percent or more Las Vegas Paiute. The decision was made even though those ousted have direct ancestors on an official tribal base roll created in 1940 and acknowledged in the tribe's constitution, the group's attorney, Michael Stuhff said. Stuhff said banned members were given only 10 minutes to present their entire case to the council. Stuhff said each of his clients was kicked out so the remaining 38 members of the tribe can divvy up millions.