Council debate removal of Speaker Naize


Council wants to vote and many of the Delegates yell out, “Vote! Vote!” As Speaker Pro Temp Edmund Yazzie calls for Vote, Delegate Witherspoon says he wants to comment and waives his hand to be recognized by Speaker Pro Temp who calls on him. Witherspoon then asks for Sponsor, Delegate Alton Shepherd, to be afforded time to speak on behalf of his legislation.

In dec 2013 criminal charges filed against Naize and since this legislation introduced, which is 35 days, many of you delegates have gone to him to ask him to step down and he has refused.

And I said in Naabik’iyati Committee that it is Navajo law that Speaker serves at pleasure of Council and must be in good standing. WE all took oath to uphold laws of Navajo Nation, US to faithfully serve. Chapters

Elected officials are held to higher standard, including Speaker Naize. And regarding due process for Naize, that is under the courts and Naize is being afforded that. I know this is a tough question but I ask you to do your duty. What we are doing here is to set back government in honorable way, legal way.

For me, it’s been an effort. I feel like I’m standing alone but people have assured me that they stand with me. People need to be showwn that our word is sacred.

First I feel need to speak today to convey about why I will vote the way I will. I will tell Speaker that I respect you and you would not be speaker if I had not changed ruled for Council selection of Speaker. I am firm believer in notion of innocent until guilty. And there is nothing in law that allows us to put him on administrative leave so allow him to step down or remove him. This was a hard one for me to think about. I have thot about it and prayed about it. Took me back to January 2011 and Prez Shelly and VP Jim faced same thing and they offered to settle by paying back. So they should be held to same standard. So let us remind pple that they faced same charges when elected as Prez and Vice Prez. And although support Speaker and you may not receive 16 votes, i will still vote YES. And in Navajo law it mandates that Speaker must be in Good Standing. I hope that if no 16 votes that Speaker not retaliate. And if there is retaliation i will not be silent. I have removed corrupt chapter officials at Tuba City and I have that reputation to continue upholding the highest ethics of elected officials.

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