Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize is facing removal by the Council.
Today, Council Delegate Alton Shepherd announced in a press release that he is sponsoring legislation to remove Naize.
“Since taking office, I have respected Speaker Naize as a colleague, as a leader and as speaker of the Navajo Nation Council,” Shepherd stated. “However, given the current charges against him, Speaker Naize has been asked by several members of the 22nd Navajo Nation Council to step down. To date, he has not done so.”
The Navajo Nation Special Prosecutors filed 11 criminal charges of bribery and one criminal charge of conspiracy to commit bribery against Naize in the Navajo Nation Window Rock District Court on Dec. 3, 2013.
Naize is scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. on March 11 and 12, 2014.
Dine’ Resources & Information Center telephoned Naize today for an interview about Shepherd’s proposed legislation to remove him. Staff members said that Naize, Chief of Staff Jarvis Williams and public information staff were meeting to develop a written response.
At 4:30 p.m., Naize had not issued a statement.
“The right thing to do is to step down and take care of those charges,” Shepherd stated. “A leader will choose what is best for the nation, in this case the Navajo Nation Council, and with his actions to remain as speaker, he is only dividing the Council.
“This is a question of ethical duty of a public official and upon the oath of office, for me and my colleagues,” he added. “We are accountable to the people we represent. The people are entitled to complete confidence in the loyality and integrity of their government. The people need to know how their leader stands on these principles.”