NAVAJO COUNCIL HEARING REPORT ON RED BARN LIQUOR LICENSE FROM NAVAJO HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE DIRECTOR LEONARD GORMAN, COMMUNITY TASK FORCE OPPOSING LIQUOR LICENSE CHARLENE JAMES
NAVAJO HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE DIRECTOR LEONARD GORMAN
The Council asked for status report on liquor license for Red Barn drive up liquors. next to me is legal counsel, Rick from Lewis and Rocka, and next to him is Task Force Chairperson Charlene. We have written report that is being distributed.
in march, council asked Human rights office to look into Red Barn liquor license. we met with the communities of Sanders and Nahatahdziil which is where Red Barn is located. we also met with Arizona liquor board which told us that $6 billion taxes collected from Arizona liquor industry. the board said the state needs the liquor taxes and so they would continue to sell liquor licenses to businesses selling to navajo people. the liquor board told the current owner, Gary MacDonald, that he was not capable of having license and he sold liquor license. before transfer of liquor license it will be up to local county government to oppose. Apache County opposed transfer. so appeal was being prepared. then we heard that new owner wanted to sell license to Navajo people. we asked price and any land and business site lease. once the estimate sale of business and license is known, the navajo nation will step in.
there is big concern about how Apache County has handled its relationship with Navajo people on this matter. we have asked Navajo Transit to use one bus to take people interested in presenting and listening to Ariz Liquor Board.
we want to establish that Navajo Nation and Apache County are victims; revocation of liquor licenses; request for continuance of Jan. 8, 2015, hearing.
GRANT HARRIS, LAW FIRM ATTORNEY
this case started cuz Gary MacDonald found facing criminal charges so had to sell liquor license or have license revoked under law. Talking with Mr. Whiting, that judge hearing criminal charges against MacDonald revokes license, which judge has power to do so why asking for continuance for Arizona Liquor Board hearing on transfer of liquor license.
This case very complicated and there is opportunity to transfer to court. Liquor department is trying to limit scope of hearing by asking for dismissal of Navajo Nation’s complaint.
TASK FORCE CHAIRPERSON CHARLENE JAMES
we are asking for letter of support before MacDonald hearing. macdonald is in jail in st. johns, ariz. in listening to report on Gallup and liquor sales, there were lot of people in Sanders, Ariz., because Gallup does not sell liquor on sundays. there is concern. homeless people are abusing alcohol so close liquor sales in sanders, ariz. last time, we were allowed two buses and now only one which seats 32 people.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
the reason i asked for report from Mr. Harris, and Mr. Gorman is to get direction from Council because Council is the client. we brought legislation to council that asked for assistance for legal representation and work with navajo government offices for assistance for task force. Jan. 8, 2015, is Arizona Liquor Board hearing for Red Barn liquor license. Jan. 13, 2015, is sentencing of former Red Barn liquor license owner Gary MacDonald, who was in process of selling liquor license to George Ryan.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
The Council’s Health, Education and Human Services Committee needs to help locate funding for a second bus.
DELEGATE WALTER PHELPS
right now we are looking at super bowl and hoping cardinals win. and super bowl heavily financed by liquor industry. and liquor industry along here in Arizona is $6 billion industry that we up against. and there is no way that liquor board going to part ways to try to harm or injure revenue source especially when state legislature in deficit. i’m not saying impossible to close down couple of liquor establishments and stop liquor license. navajo nation has been successful. coconino county had strong outcry over liquor establishments abuse.
Dealing with Navajo department of health and Indian Health Services provided funding to operate Gallup detox center and then those funds went to Page, Holbrook, Flagstaff. I believe there is very small pot still there. on one hand we want to provide programs that would counter liquor. and i am keenly aware of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Liquor has a huge impact and so we need to look at this liquor issue on a global level.
and we were told that Navajo Transit bus driver are prohibited from lobbying activities.
COUNCIL VOTE ON RED BARN REPORT, 16 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED