Chairman Wallace confident he’ll remain in office |

Chairman Wallace confident he’ll remain in office

by Sheila Gardner

Washoe tribal members go to the polls today to settle the issue of whether Chairman Brian Wallace should be recalled.

Wallace said Thursday he is confident that the majority of 473 eligible voters will elect to keep him in the office he has held since 1990. He considers the recall effort a personal attack with little merit.

“This is the same handful of people who have attempted and failed to get elected through the regular process,” he said. “It’s not that I am attempting to maintain this job for life. This isn’t just about me. Our leadership has worked very hard to take the tribe in what’s been affirmed as the right direction, and the members have asked that it be pressed.”

Polls open for tribal members at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. in tribal offices at the Stewart and Carson colonies, Dresslerville, Woodfords and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.

Leah Wyatt-Davis is chairwoman of the petition committee that gathered more than 150 signatures of tribal members who wanted a recall election.

The petition committee, which includes Wyatt-Davis, Edmund James, Carnegie Smokey Jr., Elwood Wyatt and Lesle Jimmy, has accused Wallace of improper conduct and gross neglect of duty. A formal tribal council member has also questioned the tribe’s various enterprises, saying he thinks money from the smokeshop and feedlot operations has been diverted.

“I’d be very happy to discuss merits of issues, but I’m not interested in dealing with these little attacks,” Wallace said. “I’ve got better things to do, such as running the tribe and looking out for the members.”

“It’s the people that have the power,” said Wyatt-Davis. “We could see this thing through successfully if we all have a conscience. I’m going to be disappointed if Brian is allowed to remain.”

Wyatt-Davis said Wallace’s opponents would nominate a candidate for October’s regular election if Wallace survives the recall.

“We’ve been successful so far and we’re not going to give up. By October, we will have another candidate,” she said.

Wallace said while the recall effort has taken a toll on him, his wife Lavonne and their two sons, he was buoyed by a community potluck two weeks ago at the Stewart Community Center attended by more than 212 people.

“You could see the visible support in everybody’s faces,” Wallace said. “It was really fortifying. The potluck was a big family event.”

Editor’s note: R-C News Service reporter Christy Chalmers contributed to this report.

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