Delegate Alton Shepherd: I did what I thought was right

Here at Naabik’iyati Committee where Legislation 0003-14, which is the removal of Naize as Speaker by Council, is before the Committee.

Delegate Witherspoon makes the motion for the Committee to properly bring Legislation 0003-14 before the committee, Delegate Leonard Tsosie seconds Delegate Witherspoon’s motion.

Speaker shall be in good standing. In January 2011, Council selected Mr. Naize to serve for two years in good standing and last year we did the same thing. At that time, Naize was in good standing. Both time we selected by simple majority.

On Dec. 3, 2013, we all know the charges brought forth and 35 days went by. Numerous delegates contacted me and gave position for Naiza to step down. Albuquerque Journal reported that Naize refused to step down. And from inauguration day, we promised to uphold the laws and abide by laws of Navajo Nation. And at end of oath is to the best of my abiity to protect laws, advance the Navajo people.

We have taken the oath and we understand the high standards of public office. you are chosen to lead as speaker. If you have read some of public comments, one stood out. I appreciate all comments. Over the weekend, Fort Defiance Council supported this legislation.

Each member of the council has right to introduce legislation and I decided to sponsor this. I looked at several laws, including election code, but it does not mention Speaker. Title 2 very clear and requires 2/3 vote of Council. Some said i was not affording due process but that is set by court of law. And perhaps this could have gone thru ethics office.

And again we are not removing Mr. Naize. And if there is to be removal, it is up to his consituents. Speaker bring integrity and the law allows us several avenues including Speaker Naize naming pro temp as he steps donw until this matter is cleared up.

There has been some repercussions on my projects as they move through legislative process. But I made my decision on what I felt was right. This is a tough issue. We have heard both sides. And Council has final authority. That is my presentation. I respect all of you.

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