When the door opened, everyone left the closed door meeting except Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, Council Speaker Johnny Naize and Council Delegates. The council delegates that I’ve seen so far are LoRenzo Bates, Danny Simpson, Roscoe Smith, and Russell Begaye. SPECIAL NOTE: In earlier posts about this Closed Door meeting, I incorrectly identified Delegate Danny Simpson as Delegate Alton Shepherd.
I keep being told that “They’ll” meet with me to make an announcement after the meeting opens which I find interesting and kind of weird because that promise is what’s keeping me here. Well, even if they weren’t promising me an interview, I’d stay. I tried talking to some of the NTEC Board members but they told me to speak to President Shelly.
The doors opened at 4:50 pm and remain open BUT no one is talking to me. I’m not surprised as I watch them all scatter to the Four Directions. I catch Navajo Council Delegate LoRenzo Bates as he quickly strikes to the exit. “The press conference is tomorrow at 11 a.m.,” he says quickly. He’s not smiling. He adds that he has to get to another meeting and so he’ll contact me about press conference location.
Navajo Nation Attorney General Harrison Tsosie’s only comment on closed door meeting is that is was a “strategy” meeting regarding “legal issues” that have to be ironed out for “mine acquisition.”I tracked down President Shelly who was signing documents. HIs attorney, Heather Claw, told me to talk with Erny Zah, Shelly’s Communications Director, about a press conference. Zah says that he’ll be issuing a press release. And so I need to get busy and write up my questions for Shelly and Naize, who also managed to keep a tight lip.
Speaker Naize is talking and laughing with attorney Craig Moyer, whose law firm did the due diligence on the tribe’s purchase of the BHP coal mine, Paul E. Frye, interim NTEC attorney, and Naize Energy Advisor Anthony Peterman.
As Naize was leaving the Courtyard Marriott, he said that he needs to think about making a statement. But he added that he would be at Bates’ press conference tomorrow at Upper Fruitland Chapter.
Attorney Craig Moyer, who is with Manatt Law Firm of LA, Calif., just stopped at the table where I’m working on this blog. For some reason, he wants a copy of a Reporter’s Notebook that I wrote several years ago about former Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald. And since he seemed to be a talking mood, I asked him about the meeting – no comment. Are you going to Bates’ press conference – no, he headed home. But he said that the negotiations over and purchase of BHP coal mine should be “wrapped up by Thanksgiving.”