Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, the Navajo Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee voted 19 in favor, zero opposed to adopt their agenda. There were no amendments to the agenda and so the Naabik’iyati Committee’s proposed agenda is their adopted agenda.
It is 9:41 am, 11.4.22, and interim Speaker Eugenia Charles-Newton, who is the Law and Order Committee chairwoman, called for Legislation 0208-22 to be read into the record.
Motion is Navajo Council Delegate Pernell Halona. Second is by Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie.
Sponsor of 0208-22 is Navajo Council Delegate Otto Tso, who is the Law & Order Committee vice chairman. Tso begins his 20-minute introduction of 0208-22.
9:54 am, 11.4.22, CD Otto Tso emphasizes that Speaker Damon apologized and admitted that he made a mistake.
Council Delegate Eugene Tso made an amendment regarding some technical corrections, such as including “Navajo Nation”, authorizing Council’s attorneys & legislative staff to make corrections to comprehensive dollar amounts. NOTE – I’m not sure what Tso is referring to.
Naabik’iyati is voting on Tso’s amendment, 10 am, 11.4.22. Vote is 21 in favor, zero opposed.
Unofficial voting tally: NOTE, When Speaker Damon asked to voted, I lost track of Council Delegates voting between Damon and Mark Freeland. But the vote was 21 – 0.
Elmer Begay NoVote; Kee Allen Begay Green; Paul Begay Red; Nathaniel Brown Green; Eugenia Charles-Newton NotVoting as Interim Speaker; Amber Kanazbah Crotty EXCUSED; Seth Damon Green……Mark Freeland Green; Pernell Halona Green; Jamie Henio Green; Vince James Green; Rickie Nez Green; Carl Salter Green; Raymond Smith Jr. Green; Wilson Stewart Jr. Green; Charlaine Tso Green; Daniel Tso Green; Eugene Tso Green; Otto Tso Green; Thomas Walker Jr. Green; Edison Wauneka Green; Edmund Yazzie Green; Jimmy Yellowhair Green.
As Naabik’iyati voting, Speaker Seth Damon Point of Previlege On record, I ask if I can vote on 02028-22. Navajo Council attorney Dana Bobroff says it’s legal for Damon to vote on 0208-22. Damon votes green on Council Delegate Eugene Tso’s amendment. NOTE – Interesting…And so now Damon can vote on 0208-22, the Temporary Administrative Leave Without Pay of Damon as Speaker, but not as a Navajo Council Delegate, which means Damon would continue to receive his annual Council Delegate salary of $25,000 and would continue as a Council delegate.
10:22 am, 11.4.22, Council Delelgate Herman Daniels Jr. calls on the Navajo Dept of Justice to give a legal opinion on whether Damon can vote on 0208-22, since Damon voted on Council Delegate Eugene Tso’s amendment. Navajo Nation Deputy Attorney General Kimberly Dutcher says she agrees with Chief Legislative Counsel Dana Bobroff’s legal opinion that Damon could vote on amendment and therefore on 0208-22.
10:29 am, 11.4.22, Health, Education & Human Services Committee Vice Chairman Carl Slater makes amendment to not have Rotating Speakers and to place Speaker Damon on admin leave with pay until the end of his term as speaker. Slater also calls for Health, Education & Human Services Committee Chairman Daniel Tso to be the Speaker until the end of Damon’s term, especially since HEHS Chairman Daniel Tso is not seeking re-election & so he will be able to devote his complete attention to the Office of the Speaker.
Budget & Finance Committee Chairman Jamie Henio, a first time Council Delegate, asks for legal advice on whether only committee chairpersons and vice chairpersons can be speaker.
Chief Legislative Counsel Dana Bobroff reading Council rules & regulations & adding that they don’t make sense after the Council was reduced from 88 Council delegates to 24 Council delegates. And so it’s up to the Council to decide who will be speaker.
10:38 am, 11.4.22, Council Delegate Eugene Tso called Point of Order on HEHS Vice Chairman Carl Slater. Tso says Salter’s amendment is out of order. Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie seconded Salter’s amendment.
10:42 am, 11.4.22, It’s beginning to look a lot like Dueling Points of Order… Budget & Fianance Committee Chairman Jamie Henio says that Slater’s amendment needs to be read into record so the Public can see what the Points of Orders are all about. Interim Speaker Eugenia Charles-Newton says the Points of Orders are preventing the Official Reading of the Amendment.
10:45 am, 11.4.22, Chief Legislative Counsel Dana Bobroff says that Council Delegate Carl Slater’s amendment to name Health, Education & Human Services Committee Chairman Daniel Tso as interim speaker instead of rotating speakers among the chairperson of the Council’s four standing committees and have Tso serve as speaker until the end of Speaker Seth Damon’s term and have Damon, as speaker, on admin leave without pay until the end of the current Navajo Council’s term, which is in January 2023..
10:50 am, 11.4.22, Council Delegate Mark Freeland says that since Chief Legislative Counsel Bobroff advised that any of the Naabik’iyati Committee members, and not just the committee chairpersons and vice chairpersons, can serve as speaker. Health, Education & Human Services Committee Vice Chairman Carl Slater recommends an executive session to discuss his amendment. NOTE – Sounds like there’s a Fight to be Speaker….Ridiculous!!
10:58 am, 11.4.22, Budget & Finance Committee Chairperson Jamie Henio says that HEHS vice chairman Slater’s amendment does not address housing. Speaker Damon has grandkids and we do not want to put them out in the cold. We talk about not putting our people out in the cold.
Delegate Eugene Tso says he was asking about Slater’s amendment and that it does not comply with appointing an interim speaker. NOTE – Interesting, CD Tso is really arguing against having Health, Education & Human Services Committee vice chairman Carl Slater’s amendment, which would name HEHA Chairman Daniel Tso, a senior Council delegate, to serve as interim speaker until the end of the current Council’s term, which is January 2022. NOTE – Council Delegate Eugene Tso making it obvious that he supports Temporary Administrative Leave Without Pay for Speaker Damon, and not until the end of the Council’s term. I’m feeling a Strong Vibe that Delegate Eugene Tso & other Delegates have a Plan to only have Damon on admin leave for a couple of weeks…
Speaker Seth Damon announces that former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly in Council chamgers. Interim Speaker Eugenia Charles-Newton starts to ask everyone to rise for former prez Shelly when Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty raises Point of Order as to whether the Public is now being allowed into the Council chambers. NOTE – When Ben Shelly was Council delegate, he was convicted in the Navajo Council’s Discretionary/Slush Fund Theft of more than $30 million, along with his vice president, Rex Lee Jim. When Jim was a Council delegate, he was also convicted in the Slush Fund theft. When Shelly & Jim became president & vice president, they admitted their guilt and agreed to pay back what they stole.
11:10 am, 11.4.22, Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty says there are major US Supreme Court cases & other issues that the Navajo Council needs to be actively involved in and she hasn’t seen any of that for the past two weeks, since Speaker Seth Damon’s incident in Las Vegas during the Indian National Rodeo Finals. This Council needs to continue to advocate for Water Rights, NTUA threat to shut off power to Dine’, etc. And I haven’t heard from any Council Delegates regarding how to continue the Council’s work for the People who have critical needs. I attended Leadership meeting on 10.256.22 and Executive Session 10.28.22, but there is no clear direction. This matter is not about us; it’s about the people.
Crotty also informs the Council that she asked Speaker Damon on Tuesday, why no interim speaker had been named. Damon informed her that no Council Delegate wanted to be Speaker.
Budget & Finance Committee member Jimmy Yellowhair says he’s concerned about “liability” if the speaker is placed on administrative leave without pay. And if speaker placed on admin leave, he would need to return keys, laptop, etc, and not use Navajo govt credit card or Purchasing Card/P-card.
11.40 am, 11.4.22, Speaker Seth Damon says that legislation 0208-22 is input from colleagues, and it was a starting point. I was going to sponsor 0208-22, but Delegate Otto Tso said he would sponsor. I also said that if there would be any amendment that, that is correct. Legislation 0208-22 belongs to the Council. And 0208-22 addresses only my position as speaker, and not my position as Council Delegates.
Council Delegate Slater agrees with Speaker Damon that it is up to Damon’s constituents to Remove him as Council Delegate, and not the Council.
11:50 am, 11.4.22, Resources & Development Committee Chairman Rickie Nez says he sees nothing wrong with Slater’s amendment. “If it didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be here today,” RDC chairman Nez says to the Council. “We need a strong plan while Speaker is on administrative leave.” But I don’t agree with taking away his phone and laptop because I’m sure there are other delegates, like myself, who would want to reach out to Damon at his treatment center and offer him support.
Council Delegate Vince James asks Health, Education & Human Services Committee Vice Chairman Carl Slater to add Law & Order Committee Chairwoman Eugenia Charles-Newton to his legislation to also serve as interim speaker.
12:11 pm, 11.4.22, HEHS vice chairman Slater says he recommended HEHS committee chaiman Daniel Tso to remove political maneuvering, which has started. HEHS chairman Daniel Tso is an elder statesman and he is not campaigning for re-election, which means his focus will be on the Council. I agree with HEHS committee member Pernell Halona that when an individual enters rehabilitation that there is no contact between that individual and the outside, including family, and that rehabilitation is a long-term process.
12:19 pm, 11.4.22, Interim Speaker Eugenia Charles-Newton reminds Naabik’iyati that they have a special Navajo Council session at 1 pm, 11.4.22.
Law & Order Committee vice chairman Otto Tso responds to Slater’s amendment by saying that the Speaker is not being Removed. He is being placed on administrative leave without pay as speaker. The legislation recommends that the four chairpersons of the four standing committees rotate as speaker.
Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie asks what happens to 0208-22 if the Naabik’iyati does not take action on 0208-22 by 1 p.m., which is when the Council special session is scheduled to begin. Chief Legislative Counsel Bobroff says that if Naabik’iyati does not act on 0208-22, it still continues to the Council.
Council Delegate Otto Tso reminds the Council that his legislation, or Damon’s legislation, came from the Council 11.25.22 Leadership meeting.
12:47 pm, 11.4.22, the Naabik’iyati Committee votes 13 in favor, 9 opposed on Health, Education & Human Services Committee vice chairman Carl Slater amendment to name HEHS committee chairman Daniel Tso as speaker and placing Speaker Damon on administrative leave until the end of the current Council’s term, which is January 2023.
The Unofficial Voting Tally:
Elmer Begay Green; Kee Allen Begay Jr. Red; Paul Begay Red; Nathaniel Brown Green; Pro Tem Eugenia Charles-Newton does not vote; Amber Kanazbah Crotty Green; Seth Damon Recused himself; Herman Daniels Jr. Green; Mark Freeland Red; Pernell Halona Red; Jamie Henio Green; Vince James Red; Rickie Nez Green; Carl Slater Green; Raymond Smith Jr. Green; Wilson Stewart Jr. Green; Charlaine Tso Red; Daniel Tso Green; Eugene Tso Green; Otto Tso Red; Thomas Walker Jr. Green; Edison Wauneka Red; Edmund Yazzie Green; Jimmy Yellowhair Red.
12:55 pm, 11.4.22 Council Delegate Eugene Tso says he changes his vote from Green to Red.
Vote is now 13 in favor, 9 opposed.
Budget & Finance Committee member Raymond Smith Jr. says that a Council delegate, who is on the floor didn’t vote. Speaker Pro Tem Charles-Newton says that Speaker Damon recused himself from voting. Damon confirms Charles-Newton’s statement. BFC member Raymond Smith Jr. says that Speaker Damon was allowed to vote and if he isn’t going to vote then he should be removed from Council chambers. Charles-Newton says Chief Legislative Counsel Bobroff advised Damon that if he votes on Slater’s amendment that he shud consider recusing himself and debating. This is a unique situation and having Speaker Damon answer questions is not debating. Damon is an agent of LOC vice chaiman Otto Tso and he can remain on Council chambers floor.
Pro Tem Charles Newton says that time has expired for Naabik’iyati to act on 0208-22, and so the amendments approved by Naabi will not move forward to the Council. She calls for Ten Minute Recess. It is 1 p.m., 11.4.22
PROPOSED NAABIK’ÍYÁTI’ COMMITTEE SPECIAL MEETING AGENDA SPECIAL MEETING, Window Rock, Ariz., Nov. 4, 2022, 9 a.m.
Call-in Number: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 928 871 7160
Livestream will be available online at:
NNC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/navajonationcouncil/
PRESIDING CHAIR: Honorable Seth Damon, Speaker, 24th Navajo Nation Council
BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE; RESOURCES & DEVELOPMENT COM.; HEALTH, EDUCATION & HUMAN SERVICES COM.; LAW AND ORDER COMMITTEE
Hon. Elmer P. Begay Hon. Kee Allen Begay, Jr. Hon. Paul Begay Hon. Eugenia Charles-Newton (C) Hon. Nathaniel Brown Hon. Herman M. Daniels, Jr. Hon. Pernell Halona Hon. Vince R. James Hon. Amber Kanazbah Crotty Hon. Mark A. Freeland Hon. Carl Roessel Slater (VC) Hon. Eugene Tso Hon. Jamie Henio (C) Hon. Rickie Nez (C) Hon. Charlaine Tso Hon. Otto Tso (VC) Hon. Raymond Smith, Jr. (VC) Hon. Wilson C. Stewart, Jr. Hon. Daniel E. Tso (C) Hon. Edmund Yazzie Hon. Jimmy Yellowhair Hon. Thomas Walker, Jr. (VC) Hon. Edison J. Wauneka (C) Chair & (VC) Vice Chair
- CALL MEETING TO ORDER; ROLL CALL; INVOCATION
- RECOGNIZE GUESTS AND VISITING OFFICIALS (2 Minute Limit per Delegate)
- REVIEW AND ADOPT THE AGENDA
(m) (s) (v)
- REVIEW AND ADOPT THE JOURNALS: NONE
- RECEIVE REPORTS: NONE
- OLD BUSINESS: NONE
- NEW BUSINESS:
A. LEGISLATION 0208-22: An Action Relating to the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee and Navajo Nation Council; Placing the Speaker of the 24th Navajo Nation Council on Administrative Leave Without Pay; Establishing Speaker(s) Pro Tem for the 24th Navajo Nation Council
SPONSOR: Honorable Otto Tso
(m) (s) (v)
- CLOSE OF MEETING; ANNOUNCEMENTS; ADJOURNMENT
AGENDA SUBJECT TO CHANGE: The public is advised that the Navajo Nation Council Agenda and the Agendas of the Standing Committees are not final until adopted by a majority vote of the Navajo Nation Council or the Standing Committee at a Navajo Nation Council or a Standing Committee meeting pursuant to 2 N.N.C. §§163 and 183, Navajo Nation Council Rule of Order No. 7, and Standing Committee Rule of Order No. 8.
Livestream will be available online at:
NNC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/navajonationcouncil/