Former Mariano Lake coordinator a 'no-show'

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, February 12, 2013

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B rian Chee failed to show up yesterday for his hearing before the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals.

Chee, a former community service coordinator for the Mariano Lake Chapter, was scheduled to appear for a hearing because of a complaint filed by the Navajo Nation Ethics and Rules Office alleging that Chee wrote out $17,600 worth of checks to himself on or about September 28, 2012, Chee's last day as a chapter employee.

There was one for $3,800 dated for October 25, 2012. Another for $500 dated October 15, 2012 and the third was for $3,800, dated on October 19, 2012. The last check was for $9,500 and was dated on October 31, 2012.

Chapter officials said they were not aware that the checks had been signed to Chee until they came into the chapter' s bank account.

The ethics office is asking for restitution of the money he stole from the chapter and a sanction that would prohibit him from tribal employment until he repays the money.

At the request of the chapter, the ethics office is also asking that Chee be required to give a public apology to the chapter and its members for his actions.

Vernon Roanhorse, head of the ethics office, said Chee has been discussing a possible settlement with his office. He had been expected to show up at the hearing to talk further about the details of the settlement.

Richie Nez, hearing office for the hearings and appeals department, Monday declared Chee a no-show and gave him until Feb. 22 to answer to the allegations.

If he doesn't, Nez has the option to declare a default judgment or set a date for a re-hearing.



Tseyatoh man charged with aggravated assault of a child, gets 18 years

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK - A Tseyahtoh, N.M. man Monday was given an 18-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a child under the age of 12 years old.

Kenneth Mike Etsitty, 58, will also be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence.

Etsitty has been in federal custody since May 14, 2012 when a criminal complaint was filed. He pled guilty to three counts of aggravated assault of a child under the age of 12 the following October.

According to court records, law enforcement authorities initiated a criminal investigation of Etsitty in Feb. 21 of last year after a nine-year-old Navajo child reported being sexually assaulted by Etsitty on more than 10 occasions.

Etsitty later admitted sexually assaulting the child victim on approximately 10 occasions.

In entering his guilty plea, Etsitty admitted that he forced the child victim to engage in sexual acts on multiple occasions from Jan. 2007, when the child was four-years-old, through Nov. 2011, when child was nine-years old.

Etsitty admitted that each of the sexual attacks occurred in the same way, by touching the victim's genitals.