LEGISLATION 0401-17: An Action Relating to the Law and Order and Naabjk’fyatj’ Committees; and the Navajo Nation Council: Amending 2 N.N.C. § 164(B), Agreements not Requiring Committee or Council Approval (2/3) SPONSOR: Honorable Tuchoney Slim, Jr.
(m) Honorable Alton Joe Shepherd (s) Honorable Jonathan Perry
LEGISLATION SEEKS TO REMOVE DIVISION DIRECTORS, INCLUDING ATTORNEY GENERAL, FROM REVIEW PROCESS OF DOCUMENTS THAT DON’T REQUIRE APPROVAL OF COUNCIL.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BRANCH, i think as primary statement, just say legislation shocks me cuz eliminating department of justice will subject us to endless amount of litigation and audits by federal government. we are already being scrutinized by outside funding agencies and if eliminate tribal justice department, then not subjecting tribe ot inconsistent requirements. if eliminate justice department then wil be tasked with overseeing audit which take from litigate and to review bills. the other question, in terms of amount of time, depends on documents. for example, with consent degree takes special care so successful in filing appeal. in general for contrats and intergovernmental agreemtns are being timely reviewed. there may be unique documents require additional time. other not require review by justice department cuz not legally sufficient. if docuemtn languishing at justice then let me know so i can move them.
DELGATE LEONARD TSOSIE, i take involvement of attorney general as another stop and this bill has review by president and he should decide if attorney general review. so president should be held accountable. President Begaye is one that went out and said vote for me, I’ll do all these things for you.
COUNCL DEBATING DELEGATE CROTTY AMENDMENT TO ADD ATTORNEY GENERAL BACK INTO REVIEW PROCES.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE, i support amendment but clarification between Office of President and Vice President legal counsel and Navajo Justice Department so perhaps add Justice Department.
OFFICE OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT LEGAL COUNSEL KARIS BEGAYE, we created task force to remove review for certain documents such as business site leases. we are trying to make sure appropriate parties review. but task force ran into Title 2 cuz mandated review. and in dire emergencies we lose millions of dollars. EPA grant had to be signed in ten days and couldn’t meet time frame and so department and program not seek grants cuz know not meet deadline.
DELEGATE OTTO TSO, if leave department of justice in there then may have same situation that happened with Twin Arrows Entertainment Center. Council approved and president signed but attorney general objected and stopped. We have lost millions in taxes and the center could have had ground breaking by now. She works for Council She works at pleasure of council and she should get these documents through process in timely manner. Is justice department working in interest of Navajo pple or against Navajo pple.
DELEGATE LEE JACK supports what Delegate Tso said.
DELEGATE JONATHAN HALE, this is a decision left by Office of President and Vice President, which is asking for amendment. I just want this bill to go through cuz affects services under Health, Education and Human Services Committee. And there was ten day review process and there are no comments, including from tribal justice department and Karis Begaye, who is now executive office attorney and formerly worked for tribal justice department. so would think that there was discussion among entities in Executive Branch.
DELEGATE CROTTY, what i should have mentioned and why important we are talking in means of politics and thinking of person in that office. i am thinking that Budget and Finance should know that recently Office of management and budget caught error that would have cost tribe $17M. and tribal justice department does not work for council for president. tribal justice department works for the people.
COUNCIL VOTES ON AMENDMENT 1, 7-13, FAILS