After the Council voted to support Speaker Pro Temp LoRenzo Bates’ decision to prohibit the addition of 0218-14 because it had gone through the legislative process, Delegate Katherine Benally asked legislative attorney Marian Kahn if amendments, which included legislation, could be made to the Council’s agenda, which was created by a petition of the council and the petition included a specific agenda. As Benally was asking her question, Delegate Lorenzo Curley, the sponsor of legislation 0218-14, kept interrupting her and wouldn’t stop even after Speaker Pro Temp Bates asked him to and other delegates joined in.
Curley was visibly angry and accused Benally of signing the petition for a special council session with the full knowledge that 0218-14 would be added to the council agenda as an emergency legislation, which would allow 0218-14 to immediately be addressed by the council without it going through the legislative process.
Benally later stated that 0218-14 did not meet the definition of an emergency legislation because emergency legislation involved disasters and threats against tribal sovereignty.
According to Navajo law, “Matters constituting an emergency shall be limited to the cessation of law enforcement services, and disaster relief services, fire protection services or other direct services required as an entitlement under Navajo Nation or federal law, or which directly threaten the sovereignty of the Navajo Nation. Such an emergency matter requiring final action by the Council.”
Benally also produced a copy of the petition and pointed out the absence of any references to legislation 0218-14 being on the council’s proposed special session agenda.
As Curley continued to interrupt Benally, Council delegates started calling for an adjournment. Bates recognized Delegates Elmer Yazzie and Jonathan Nez as the motioning parties calling for an adjournment.
Bates then called for the council to vote on adjourning. The vote to adjourn was 9 in favor, 5 opposed and the council officially adjourned at 12:32 p.m.