The Navajo Nation Council’s Resources and Development Committee is meeting today, March 25, 2014, at 10 a.m. the Navajo Council chamber in Window Rock, Ariz.
One RDC AGENDA item of great interest to the Navajo homeland is a report on the draft Navajo Range Land Management Act by Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture Director Leo Watchman.
Another interesting and controversial agenda item is a report by the Navajo Ethics and Rules Office, the Navajo Office of the Auditor General, and the Office of the Chief Prosecutor regarding “referred cases.” I’m not sure what the RDC means by “referred cases.” But the Navajo Nation Special Prosecutors did refer some of its complaints regarding Council Delegates and the alleged misuse of discretionary funds to the Ethics Office which referred them to the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals.
Some recent news regarding the investigation and prosecution of Council Delegates and some former Legislative Branch staff for alleged conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery concerning the discretionary fund or Financial Assistance Program is that former Council Delegate Lena Manheimer and former Office of the Speaker Financial Director Laura Calvin will both be arraigned on criminal charges on April 21, 2014, at 9 a.m. I’ll provide more information on the specific criminal charges that the Special Prosecutors filed against Manheimer and Calvin in a separate post.
The Navajo Nation Council is also having a SPECIAL SESSION on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 10 a.m. in the Council chamber in Window Rock. Delegate Alton Shepherd, who sponsored the legislation, 0003-14, for the removal of Delegate Johnny Naize as Speaker, had hoped that his second legislation, 0069-14, would go before the Council during its special session on March 26. But when the Naabiki’yati Committee got to Legislation 0069-14 during its meeting on March 13, Committee member Delegate Charles Damon, who is a staunch supporter of Naize, walked out of the meeting, which resulted in the loss of a quorum and no action on Legislation 0003-14.
And the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee is also meeting tomorrow, March 26, 2014, at 9 a.m. in the B&F Conference room in Window Rock. Their AGENDA includes a “Response” by President Ben Shelly on the proposed Decentralization Project and “Response” by Shelly on the “Feral Horse Roundup.” There’s also a financial status report of the Emergency Drought Response by Navajo Construction and Operations Branch Manager Najam Tariq.