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Navajo Nation Court denies TRO against 12 Navajo Council delegates and 1 employee
April 7, 2014 Professional Journal

The Navajo Council went behind closed doors to talk with Speaker Johnny Naize for about two hours on April 4, 2014. After the closed door meeting, the Council voted 12 in favor, 0 opposed to place Naize on administrative leave. (L-R rows starting from top) Delegates Leonard Pete, Jonathan Nez, Kenneth Maryboy and Jonathan Hale. Delegates Joshua Lavar Butler, Katherine Benally and Russell Begaye. Maryboy and Benally were among several delegates who walked out of the council meeting before the vote to place Naize on administrative leave. Photo by Marley Shebala

The Navajo Council went behind closed doors to talk with Speaker Johnny Naize for about two hours on April 4, 2014. After the closed door meeting, the Council voted 12 in favor, 0 opposed to place Naize on administrative leave. (L-R rows starting from top) Delegates Leonard Pete, Jonathan Nez, Kenneth Maryboy and Jonathan Hale. Delegates Joshua Lavar Butler, Katherine Benally and Russell Begaye. Maryboy and Benally were among several delegates who walked out of the council meeting before the vote to place Naize on administrative leave. Photo by Marley Shebala

Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans,
Here is a copy of the request by Navajo Council Speaker Johnny Naize, to the Navajo Nation Window Rock, Ariz., District Court for a Temporary Restraining Order against the 12 Navajo Council delegates that voted in favor of placing him on administrative leave with pay and also against Legislative Services Director Tom Platero for doing his job, which is to process legislation that the Council takes action on for the speaker’s certification.

Window Rock District Court Judge Carol Perry denied Naize’s request for a TRO this afternoon, April 7, 2014. Brian Lewis, a private attorney with Greenbery Traurig, LLL., of Denver, Colo., filed the TRO at about 9:30 a.m. this morning, April 7, 2014.

But Perry is allowing Naize to present additional evidence to support his request for a TRO at a 10 a.m. hearing tomorrow, April 8, 2014, at the Window Rock District Court.

Perry, in her ORDER denying Naize’s request for a TRO, has also ordered Naize to bring to the court tomorrow “the English transcript of the April 4, 2014,” Council special session. She has also ordered Naize to specifically identify in the English transcript of the special session, where Navajo language was used and English translation of the Navajo spoken language. Naize must also identify text that was written in Navajo in the English transcript of the special session.

Perry has also ordered Nazie to “include a true account of the presence and absence of individual members constituting a quorum from the beginning to the end of the April 4, 2014, special session.” She explained that her order regarding a quorum was to identify “any changes in the membership entering or exiting the floor.”

Naize must also submit an audio copy of the April 4, 2014, special Council session.

According to the TRO, Naize is represented by Greenberg Traurig, LLP. of Denver, Colo. The attorneys assigned to represent Naize are Troy A. Eid, Lewis and Harriet A. McConnell.

The 12 delegates named in Naize’s TRO are Alton Shepherd, LoRenzo Bates, Nelson BeGaye, Russell Begaye, Josh Lavar Butler, Lorenzo Curley, Jonathan Hale, Jonathan Nez, Leonard Pete, Danny Simpson, Leonard Tsosie and Dwight Witherspoon.

Shepherd is also the delegate who sponsored Legislation 0069-14, the removal of Naize as speaker by the Council, which was amended by Tsosie for the Council to place Naize on administrative leave with pay. And Bates was named by Simpson and Tsosie to be the interim speaker pro temp in the absence of Naize. The council’s vote on the directive by Simpson and Tsosie was 12 in favor, 0 opposed.

The TRO consists of the COMPLAINT, the MOTION, EXHIBIT A, EXHIBIT B, AND EXHIBIT C.

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