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Rival Tribal Factions To Elect Leaders Today

More than a year after gunfire and other violence erupted in a dispute over control of a tribal casino, members of the Elem Indian Colony prepared to vote for new leaders today.

Members of the Pomo Tribe will vote at a neutral site off the reservation, observed by employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. One tribal member said law-enforcement officers have agreed to be on standby “so people could feel safe.”

The election will be first time two rival factions of the tribe will be together since Oct. 13, 1995, when officers converged on the 50-acre reservation after five days of violence.

At least seven people at the 100-resident reservation were injured and several others were jailed.

The feud dates back more than two years to a struggle for control of the Pomo Palace and the neighboring Elem Casino, where video poker and video pool are played.

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