The Navajo Nation Council convened Day 2 of its Summer Session. The Council is now on LEGISLATION 0095-14, approving amendments to Title 2 of the Navajo Code section 500 and sections 701. The proposed amendments would have stripped the Resources and Development Committee’s authority to select a Tribally Designated Housing Entity and given it to the Naabik’iyati Committee. The current TDHE is Navajo Housing Authority is under fire from the RDC for its failure to spend federal housing funds, which resulted in the federal government informing NHA that it would be taking back about $103 million in federal housing dollars from NHA because of its failure to spend those funds in 2012. The sponsors are Delegates Danny Simpson, Edmund Yazzie, George Apachito, Mel Begay.As the session began, Delegate Katherine Benally hugged Speaker Johnny Naize, who is sitting on the Council floor for the first time since the Council placed him on administrative leave with pay on April 4. The council’s actions did not remove Naize as delegate. When I saw Naize at the July 18, 2014, tribal court hearing of the Special Prosecutor’s motion for “GROUP” trials of current and former council delegates facing criminal charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery, I asked him why he had not attended any Naabik’iyati Committee meetings and council sessions since April 4, 2014. Naize just walked away from me without answering my question. The Window Rock District Court staff reported that Judge Carol Perry would issue a decision on the Special Prosecutor request for Group Trials on July 22, which is today.
AFTER A LONG AND VERY HEATED DEBATE ON WHETHER LEGISLATION 0095-14 SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE BEFORE GOING BEFORE THE NAABIK’IYATI COMMITTEE, THE COUNCIL VOTED 10 IN FAVOR, 11 OPPOSED TO TABLE IT AND SEND IT BACK TO THE RDC. 0095-14 DID GO TO THE RDC BUT IT NEVER RECEIVED A MOTION AND SECOND FROM ANY OF THE RDC MEMBERS FOR RDC ACTION WHICH IS WHY THE SPONSORS WERE ALLOWED TO BRING IT TO THE NAABIK’IYATI COMMITTEE. BUT AFTER THE LENGTHY AND HEATED COUNCIL DEBATE, WHICH INCLUDED A CHALLENGE OF SPEAKER PRO TEMP BATES’ DECISION THAT 0095-14 WAS PROPERLY ACTED ON BY THE NAABIK’IYATI COMMITTEE AND THEREFORE PROPERLY BEFORE THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL’S VOTE ON BATES’ DECISION WAS 12 IN FAVOR, 9 OPPOSED FOR THE CHALLENGE, WHICH SENT 0095-14 BACK TO THE RDC.