Casamero Lake parents call for recall of school board

CASAMERO LAKE, N.M.

Parents at a public hearing at Casamero Lake Chapter House on June 20 called for a recall of the board of Borrego Pass School, Dibé Yazhi Ha’bitiin Ji’ Olta.

Community member George Tolth acted as facilitator of the meeting and outlined details of accusations against the board.

He said the board had totaled $1.4 million in questionable expenses and $33,000 of those had gone directly to the Casamero Lake Chapter House.

Dibé Yazhi Ha’bitiin Ji’ Olta school board President Fernie Yazzie, whose name appeared on credit card receipts of questionable expenses in a 2016 story about the board, also serves as the president of Casamero Lake Chapter. Yazzie could not be reached for this report.

“Do we have the evidence? Yes,” Tolth said at the Casamero Lake meeting.

In previous stories about the board, the Navajo Times referenced a stack of credit card receipts more than an inch thick. Another speaker at the meeting provided a list of credit card receipts with a list of expenditures that matched those receipts.

Tolth and others, including the school principal, who spoke at the meeting linked much of the questionable spending to school board member travel expenses.

“What funds are they using?” Tolth asked.

The Department of Diné Education has escalated the case to the Navajo Nation attorney general. Parents have sent letters to Council delegates. The amount of money involved the case went to a level where the FBI could investigate but the FBI hadn’t confirmed the existence of such an investigation when contacted for previous stories.

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Categories: Education

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Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at Chrisp@navajotimes.com.