Here’s a little update on Navajo Nation Council standing committee meetings and to also inform you that the Council’s Investment Committee is in Seattle, Wash., to meet with financial institutions about Council Delegate Katherine Benally’s proposed $220 million.
I’ve posted a link to the proposed $220 m. bond legislation at the end of this blog post.
The members of the Investment Committee are Investment Committee Chairperson Mark Grant, who is also the tribal government’s Controller; Council Delegate LoRenzo Bates, who is also the Budget & Finance Committee chairperson; Council Delegate Nelson Begaye, who is also a B&F Committee member; Auditor General Elizabeth Begay; Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, and Office of President & Vice President attorney Heather Claw.
Delegate Katherine Benally, as the sponsor of the proposed $220 m. Bond, is also attending the Investment Committee meeting with financial institutions.
It should be interesting to hear a report from the Investment Committee about this meeting over the proposed $220 m. bond because I was told by a very reliable financial source that the bond processing involves background checks.
And a background check of Investment Committee member/B&F Nelson Begaye would uncover that Begaye is among 25 other Council Delegates that conspired with nine Council Delegates that are facing criminal charges, which the Navajo Nation Special Prosecutor’s Office filed with the Navajo Nation Window Rock District Court on Aug. 21, 2013.
The criminal charges filed against the nine delegates include conspiracy, bribery, abuse of office, and unauthorized compensation involving discretionary funds that were specifically earmarked to assist students, elders, families that lost loved ones and individuals facing emergencies.
The nine defendants are: Harry Clark; Jack Colorado; Raymond Joe; Hoskie Kee; Orlanda Smith-Hodge; Leonard Teller; Young Jeff Tom; Harry Willeto, and Harry Williams.
According to the Aug. 21, 2013, criminal complaint exhibit, Begaye approved $1,800 in emergency assistance for Teller’s family members. In return, Teller also approved $1,800 in assistance for Begaye’s family.
The total amount that Teller’s family received from Begaye and other delegate amounted to $13,700.
I’ve posted a link to the Aug. 21, 2013, exhibit and the Aug. 21, 2013, press release from the special prosecutor’s office.
And a background check of Delegate Katherine Benally would also show that she is facing tribal civil charges that the special prosecutor’s office filed in July 2011 against her and all of the 88-members of the former Council for misuse of the discretionary funds.
Initially, the special prosecutors filed criminal charges against 78 of the 88. But then the special prosecutors re-filed the charges as civil charges.
Since July 2011, the special prosecutor’s office has dismissed some of the civil charges against some of the 88, including Delegate Bates. But in some cases, after the special prosecutors have the court dismiss civil charges, they have re-filed criminal charges, as in the case involving the nine former delegates.
COUNCIL’S LAW AND ORDER COMMITTEE
The L&O is meeting on Monday, 9/23/13, at 10 a.m. in the Council chambers’ north conference room in Window Rock, Ariz., to discuss courts and jails across the rez, and specifically facilities located in Crownpoint, NM, Tuba City, Ariz., and Dilkon, Ariz., and fire & rescue and police services at tribal casinos. The last agenda item is meeting & travel dates.
According to the L&O’s proposed agenda, Navajo Division of Public Safety Director John Billison is scheduled to present most of the reports on the courts and jails to the L&O.
Wonder if he’s going to show? I have a feeling he won’t because the Navajo Nation Office of Hearings & Appeals is finally hearing a 100-pages labor complaint against Billison that was filed by 11 tribal police officers in April 2013.
The hearing is also scheduled for Monday, 9/23/13, at 9 a.m. in the O&H hearing room in Window Rock. I plan to be standing at the O&H door when it opens at 8 am because the hearing room is really small.
The tribal officers are charging Billison with abusing his position by “merciless harassment” of law enforcement personnel, especially whistleblowers, and using “Gestap tactics” to manage the public safety division to terrorize staff.
Hopefully, I can obtain an electronic file of the complaint or readers of my blog could donate so I could scan the hard-copy file and share it on my blog. By the way, donations also help me with transportation, lodging when needed, meals, compensation. I am a freelancer. And I’d like to thank the people that have made donations. They were very appreciated and very needed. The Donation Button is located on the right side of my website. And thanks for taking the time to read my blog and news stories.
The following are the meeting and travel dates for the L&O:
September 25 – 28, 2013 – Committee Travel- 2014 Four Corners Indian Country Conf. – Scottsdale, AZ
September 26, 2013 – Nabi’Iyati Committee Meeting @ 10 a.m., NNC Chambers, W/R, AZ
September 30, 2013 – Regular Meeting @ 10:00 AM., NNC North Conference Room, Window Rock, AZ
October 7, 2013 – Regular Meeting @10:00 a.m., NNC North Conference Room, Window Rock, AZ;
October 10, 2013 – Nabi’Iyati Committee Meeting @ 10 a.m., NNC Chambers, W/R, AZ
October 14, 2013 – Regular Meeting at 10:00 a.m., NNC North Conference Room, Window Rock, AZ;
October 21 – 25, 2013 – Navajo Nation Council Fall Session, NNC Chambers, Window Rock, AZ
JOINT MEETING OF THE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE & LAW AND ORDER COMMITTEE
The joint meeting of HEHS and L&O is Wednesday, 9/25/13, at 1 p.m., in the Council chamber.
The committees plan to discuss concerns by the Division of Public Safety regarding tribal police vehicles and the fees that the public safety division is charged by Division of General Services Fleet Management Office, which public safety claims is unfair, unreasonable, and expensive.
The committee will also take up the long standing problems of Head Start, specifically “how law defines a highly qualified workforce and how it influenced the recent employee re-assignments, layoffs and new hires.”
They’ll also tackle another long-standing issue, Reappointment, which is mandated by Navajo law to occur every ten years, which should have happened in 2012. Navajo Election Office Director Edison Wauneka has been trying to get the Council’s attention and he finally succeeded. Well, maybe not the Council, but the HEHS and L&O are standing committees of the Council.
The committee also plan to debate proposed policy changes to the tribal personnel policy regarding guidelines for bonuses for tribal employees. I hope the committees get a written report on who receives bonuses, size of bonuses, number of times an employee has received a bonus and what the justification was for the bonus.
Proposed 9/25/13 agenda for joint meeting of Health, Education and Human Services Committee & Law and Order Committee
Proposed Law & Order Committee agenda for 9/23/13
Office of Special Prosecutor press release: 9 Council delegates charged 8-21-13
Office of Special Prosecutor: Exhibit-9 Council delegates charged 8-21-13