Naize, Morgan plead not guilty to misuse of funds

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, March 13, 2014

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Criminal hearings for former and current members of the Navajo Nation Council who have been accused of misusing discretionary funds began on Tuesday with arraignments.

Speaker of the Council Johnny Naize pleaded not guilty to charges of one count of conspiracy and 10 counts of bribery in connection with allegations he entered into deals with other members of the Council to have them give grants to his family members in exchange for him giving similar size grants to their family members.

He is accused of misusing almost $37,000 in discretionary funds.

Court officials said that no date has been set for a pre-trial conference.

Former Speaker of the Council Lawrence Morgan also pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Window Rock District Court Judge Carol Perry set a pre-trial conference for April 9 on his case.

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