The YouTube video, Navajo Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee TABLES legislation for Council to remove Speaker Naize, begins with the Naabik’iyati Committee starting its debate over LEGISLATION 0003-14, which is for the Council to remove Delegate Johnny Naize as Speaker, with Speaker Johnny Naize calling on Delegate Alton Shepherd, who is the Sponsor of Legislation 0003-14. Shepherd asks Speaker Naize to have Delegate Mel Begay named as Speaker Pro Temp during the Committee’s debate and action on Legislation 0003-14.
Shepherd also asks for Legislation 0003-14 to be read into the record. Shepherd is sitting on the north side of the Council chamber, which is where the sponsors of legislation sit. Speaker Naize is sitting at the front of the Council chamber. As Shepherd talks, Naize says something to Delegate Mel Begay, who then takes Naize’s place at the front of the Council chamber.
After Shepherd finishes speaking, Speaker Pro Temp Begay asks for time to be updated on the status of Legislation 0003-14. Begay, who is usually picked by Naize as his Speaker Pro Temp, informs the Naabik’iyati Committee that Acting Chief Legislative Counsel Mariana Kahn has additional information regarding Legislation 0003-14.
Kahn informs the Committee that Navajo law mandates that when the Committee is debating Legislation regarding the removal of its chairperson that the chairperson cannot name a pro temp. The committee votes to name its pro temp, she explains.
The Committee then votes on a pro temp. The vote is 12 for Delegate Mel Begay, who continues presiding over the vote and who also votes for himself. Begay also declares himself the winner. Delegate Jonathan Hale is also nominated and Hale receives 5 votes. Delegates LoRenzo Bates and Katherine Benally nominated Mel Begay. Delegates Leonard Tsosie and Dwight Witherspoon nominate Jonathan Hale.
Legislative Services Director Tom Platero reads Legislation 0003-14 is then read into the record. Platero reports that there are 18 comments, which all support the removal of Speaker Naize.
Delegate Shepherd is then given time to present his legislation, 0003-14, to the Naabik’iyati committee.
After Shepherd finishes his presentation, Speaker Pro Temp Mel Begay calls for a rebuttal by Speaker Naize but Naize has left the Council chamber.
Delegate Witherspoon recalls that the Naabik’iyati committee discussed Legislation 0003-14 in executive session for three hours on Jan. 13 and so the Committee should Table it, which still allows Legislation 0003-14 to move forward to the Council, which starts its five-day winter session on Jan. 27. Delegate Jonathan Hale seconds Witherspoon’s Tabling motion.
Delegate Leonard Tsosie then speaks against the Tabling motion because of possible legal questions.
After Tsosie finishes his statement, Speaker Pro Temp Begay explains that there is a Tabling motion on the floor and he calls for the vote.
The Naabik’iyati Committee votes 10 in favor, 7 opposed to Table legislation 0003-14.
NOTE: Under amendments to Title 2 of the Navajo Code that the current Council approved, standing committees may no longer hang onto proposed legislation for the Council by voting against it or tabling it, which is why Speaker Pro Temp Mel Begay announced before the Committee’s Tabling vote of 10 in favor and 7 opposed on legislation 0003-14 that it would continue to the Council for a final decision.