Delegate wants economic boss out


Crystal J. Deschinny

A bill recommending the removal of the executive director for the Division of Economic Development, Crystal Deschinny, is ready for Resource and Development Committee action.

Committee member Davis Filfred is sponsoring the bill, which states that the Division of Economic Development has not provided policy amendments to improve the Business and Industrial Development Fund, has not updated a plan of operation and has curtailed services to the local business community. “The Division Director … has utterly failed in her execution of her duties,” states the legislation.

Davis Filfred

Deschinny’s tenure has been hampered by the 2009 Correction Action Plan for the Business Industrial Development Fund. The plan is a response to an audit that found about 15 years of “carelessness” when it came to the loan service program, known as the BDIF program, all happening before Deschinny’s time. She was appointed to her position in April 2016.

The BIDF provides loans to qualified Navajo individuals or Navajo-owned businesses, but all loan activity was halted in April 2016 after the audit. The majority of loans were made prior to 2005 and division staff have completed 90 to 95 percent of a review of the 10- to 15-year loan files.

“There was three items on the legislations and they’re not an easy fix,” said Deschinny of Filfred’s bill. “The 2009 CAP audit was never implemented. I’ve never contested (it); I’ve been trying to fix it.”

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Categories: Politics

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at