DOJ: Council members are innocent until proven guilty

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 6, 2014

Text size: A A A

A member of the Navajo Nation Council does not automatically lose his seat on the Council if he is charged with a crime against the Navajo Nation, according to a legal opinion issued on Jan. 29 by the Navajo Nation Department of Justice.

DOJ was asked for a legal opinion on that subject by the Shiprock and Tiis Tsoh Sikaad chapters in light of the fact that almost half of the 22 members of the Council are currently facing charges field by the tribe's special prosecutor including misuse of Navajo monies, conspiracy, fraud and abuse of power.

"Because of the moral and ethical duties and responsibilities that Navajo leaders must be held to, it is questionable whether these individuals who are formally charged with crimes and are under investigation, should actively remain in office," the Shiprock resolution stated.

The DOJ opinion, written by Deputy Attorney General Dana Bobroff, said the answer to that question must emphasize the distinction between being charged with a crime versus being convicted of a crime.

For full story, pick up a Navajo Times.

How to get The Times:

Back to top ^