Temporary Removal of Speaker Damon, Navajo Council, 1 pm, 11.4.22

Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, the Navajo Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee approved to two amendments to Legislation 0208-22, which seeks Council approval to place Speaker Seth Damon on temporary administrative leave without pay, which does not affect his position as Council delegate. Damon will continue to receive his delegate salary of $25,000 a year and all other benefits of being a delegate. And the Naabik’iyati Committee can take Damon off admin leave without pay at any time.

But the Naabik’iyati didn’t vote on 0208-22 with the two amendments, and so 0208-22 moves onto the Navajo Council without the two amendments. One of the amendments would have names Health, Education & Human Services Committee Chairman Daniel Tso as speaker and would have placed Speaker Damon on administrative leave without pay until the four-year term of the current Navajo Council ends, which is in January 2023.

1:23 pm, 11.4.22, Speaker Seth Damon is presiding over the Council because the Naabik’iyati did not vote on 0208-22. Damon calls on legislative staff to read 0208-22 in the record.

1:30 pm, 11.4.22, Speaker Damon announces that Law & Order Committee Chairwoman Eugenia Charles-Newton will be the Speaker Pro Tem.

1:33 pm, 11.4.22, Law & Order Committee chairman Otto Tso, who is sponsoring 0208-22, says that Speaker Damon took full responsibility for his actions and apologized. He asks the Council to approve 0208-22 without any amendments. He emphasizes that the temporary administrative leave without pay is only against Damon as speaker, and not as a Council Delegate.

Delegate Otto Tso reminds the Council that Speaker Damon agreed to the terms in 0208-22, and so did the Council. He calls on Speaker Damon & asks him if he would like to speak.

1:50 pm, 11.4.22, Speaker Damon says that what he said last week and this week was sufficient for him to comment on 0208-22. He thanks Delegate Otto Tso for sponsoring 0208-22.

1:54 pm, 11.4.22, Health, Education & Human Services Committee Carl Slater asks if it would be alright to sponsor his amendments again. Chief Legislative Counsel Bobroff says that it’s legal. Resources & Development Committee Chairman Rickie Nez says he’ll second the motion to add Slater’s amendment to 0208-22. But Pro Tem Charles-Newton says that there was no motion by Slater, who only asked about the status of his amendments.

2:08 pm, 11.4.22, Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty says she has asked for all the information about what happened in Las Vegas. I am not clear if legislative staff attended events in Las Vegas because it appears that there’s a recommendation for the Interim Speaker to not hire or fire legislative staff. And according to the Navajo Times, the trip to Las Vegas included a meeting with CDFI, which is funded by the Navajo Nation Sihasin Fund. And so the trip appears involve Navajo Council business and family business.

Health, Education & Human Services Committee Chairman Daniel Tso motions to sponsor Amendment One, a technical amendment approved by Naabik’iyati that Delegate Eugene Tso sponsored before the Naabik’iyati Committee. Delegate Eugene Tso seconds Delegate Daniel Tso’s amendment one.

Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty asks for an explanation of what are the technical amendments. NOTE – the technical amendment refers to dollar amounts.

2:20 pm, 11.4.22, Budget & Finance committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty asks Delegate Otto Tso if there are other technical amendments that needed to be added to 0208-22. Speaker Pro Tem Eugenia Charles-Newton hands question over to Chief Legislative Counsel Dana Bobroff, who says there are no more technical amendments.

Council votes 21 in favor, zero opposed on Amendment One, adding technical corrections.

2:30 pm, 11.4.22, Delegate Carl Slater asks for Chief Legislative Counsel Bobroff for advice on how to create amendment that states that Speaker Damon will be on administrative leave without pay until Naabik’iyati Committee can complete an investigation into what happened in Las Vegas during the Indian National Rodeo Finals. Attorney Bobroff emphasizes that there is no need for such an amendment, even though its not specifically stated in 0208-22 because it’s understood that an investigation is part of the the administrative leave without pay. Bobroff adds that she can have Slater’s amendment regarding an investigation ready in 10 to 15 minutes.

Delegate Elmer Begay is questioning the need for an investigation.\

2:44 pm, 11.4.22, Resources & Development Committee chairman Rickie Nez recalls that he nominated Delegate Seth Damon to be Speaker because he saw an intelligent young man who was motivated. He asks Damon to step down.

2:53 pm, 11.4.22, Council Delegate Eugene Tso said Damon’s incident in Las Vegas is why young people shouldn’t be leaders. I use to drink until i passed out in the middle of town. But I was not a speaker.

2:56 pm, 11.4.22, Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie says he’s been reading the comments and it made him ask where is Ke’ from the people. Yazzie recalled that when he worked with the sheriff’s offce, he saw the impacts of alcohol, including children hurt, domestic violence, etc. But Speaker Damon, you will get help and we will continue to pray for you. Maybe I’ll make a motion for the Council to stop traveling to Las Vegas for meetings during the Indian National Rodeo Finals. We have to watch ourselves when representing the Navajo Nation. I had to hear family calls for their three-month baby to wake up, but he was gone. A drunk driver had hit the vehicle that the family was in. This was a Navajo family.

Delegate Wilson Stewart Jr amendment to Remove Speaker & select a new speaker. Navajo law allows the Council to remove Speaker Damon with a two-thirds vote or 16 “Yes” votes.

3:14 pm, 11.4.22, Legislation sponsor Delegate Otto Tso says that Stewart’s amendment changes his legislation and so he wants Stewart’s amendment ruled out of order. The question of whether amendment changed 0208-22 was raised by Delegate Eugene Tso.

Delegate Daniel Tso asks for Delegates to caucus in executive session. Delegate Eugene Tso seconds the motion.

Council votes 14 in favor, 8 opposed to approve Caucus for 15 minutes.

3:28 pm, 11.4.22, Delegate Amber Crotty asks what the procedures are for Council to Caucus and what is on and off record so that the Council can provide a report to the people. Attorney Bobroff says that the Caucus is basically semi-executive session, which means Caucuses are not recorded. Bobroff says that the Councll can decide what to report to the public.

Navajo Council back in session from Caucusing. 4:17 pm, 11.4.22

4:20 pm, 11.4.22, Speaker Seth Damon informs Council that last two weeks were the toughest and his life & family also had two of the toughest weeks. Taking counsel from colleagues, staff, and family, with haromny. thank you pro tem voice shaky. i thank you for the opportunity to be leader of legislative branch, thanks five chapters who elected me for past eight years and still have strong heart for him to be delegate. thank you to everyone for guidance and especially strength. i am going to put aside my difference, my own time frame but not lose have council lose dignity and outside four saced mountain. i am announcing without anymore harm done, without future debate, futher exampes of tarnish on thses chamber and I will step aside & I will resign. pause effective immediately when speaker elected. may take another seven days but during that time healing and given back to people. i know i need to do this. i thank each and eeryone of for being your speaker. emotional and best times, when president was giong to veto our legislation or wrestle with him for what we wanted. I’ll see chief justice this evening. i’m sorry i put each and eveyone of you thru this. make this a better tomorrow. two months critical. i need to heal myself. i may not be around that often. today i appint pro tem for five days and then another for five days. to navajo people lisening out there i am greatly sorry that i put you in this position. and please don’t judge my colleages. as a hum bening. i will fix this and strive forward for the next seven generations. i hope we all can heal. as he introduces himself for the last time as speaker and his clans, his voice turns into sobbing. six chapters, im coming home.

4:36 pm, 11.4.22, Law & Order Committee Vice Chairman Otto Tso informs the Council that he is withdrawing Legislation 0208-22. Delegate Otto Tso praises Speaker Seth Damon for resigning. I’m glad we all came to this agreement.

Pro Tem Speaker Eugenia Charles-Damon calls for the close of the session.

22 in favor, zero opposed to adjourn at 4:45 pm, 11.4.22

Unofficial Voting Tally:

Elmer Begay Green; Kee Allen Begay Green; Paul Begay Green; Nathaniel Brown Green; Eugenia Charles-Newton NoVote cuz Pro Tem; Amber Kanazbah Crotty Green; Speaker Seth Damon Green; Herman M. Daniels Jr. Green; Mark Freeland Green; Pernell Halona Green; Jamie Henio Green; Vince James Green; Rickie Nez Green; Carl Slater Green; Raymond Smith Jr. Green; Wilson Stewart Jr. Green; Otto Tso Green; Charlaine Tso NoVote; Daniel Tso Green; Eugene Tso Green; Thomas Walker Jr. Green; Edison Wauneka Green; Edmund Yazzie Green; Jimmy Yellowhair Green.


SPECIAL SESSION, Friday, Nov 4, 2022, 1 PM (DST), Navajo Nation Council Chambers, Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ)
Call-in Number: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 928 871 7160
Passcode: 86515
Livestream will be available online at:
VIMEO: www.vimeo.com/navajonationcouncil
YouTube: www.youtube.com/navajonationcouncil
NNC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/navajonationcouncil/
PRESIDING: Honorable Seth Damon, Speaker, 24th Navajo Nation Council

    (m) (s) (v)
    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 CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Wilson C. Stewart, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    THIS AGENDA IS 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 2N.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:
    VIMEO: www.vimeo.com/navajonationcouncil
    YouTube: www.youtube.com/navajonationcouncil
    NNC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/navajonationcouncil/

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