Umatilla reservation board chairman resigns

Pendelton, Oregon (AP) April 2011

The mysterious departure of the chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s board of trustees has left the board scrambling to find a replacement.

The East Oregonian reports that tribal members have until April 25 to be nominated for a special election in July. Another board member will fill his seat until then. 

Elwood Patawa hasn’t spoken publicly about the conditions of his departure aside from a three-sentence resignation letter in which he says he wanted to focus on his health.

Patawa’s successor will fill his term until a November election.

Patawa won the seat by only two votes in 2009.