Whippoorwill calls on chapter prez to resign

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Whippoorwill Springs Chapter President Jennifer Begay weathers criticism from a constituent at the chapter house in Whippoorwill June 14.


Whippoorwill Chapter’s vice president and secretary have called on the chapter president to resign after reports surfaced of her and her family members rifling through documents at the chapter house while it was closed, but as of Wednesday she was still conducting a chapter meeting.

The chapter is currently being audited for possible financial misconduct, confirmed the Navajo Nation auditor general.

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Whippoorwill Springs Chapter constituents raise their hands during a vote at the chapter house in Whippoorwill June 14.

In a letter sent to Chapter President Jennifer Begay on Wednesday, Vice President Dennis Tom and Secretary Peter Sage also accuse her of placing the chapter manager on administrative leave without their knowledge and closing the chapter house Monday and Tuesday during working hours for no good reason, “violating the democratic process of the WC (Whippoorwill Chapter) operations, rights of the chapter membership and WC employees in general.”

Attendees at a chapter meeting Wednesday said a meeting had been conducted that morning where the majority of the chapter had voted for Begay to step down and turn the meeting over to Tom.

Begay, however, did not step down, and after that meeting adjourned, she reconvened the meeting without Tom and Sage to consider a resolution suggested by Council Delegate Dwight Witherspoon to have the Division of Community Development send an accountant out to help with the finances.

Whippoorwill Chapter location.

That resolution passed although several people yelled out that the meeting was illegal.

In their letter, Tom and Sage allege Begay, who was supposed to remain away from the chapter office during the audit, was seen by community members in the office after she had closed it, along with her mother, sisters and daughters “operating copy machines and going through files.”

The chapter house was closed Monday and Tuesday, according to the men, although when the Navajo Times called Tuesday a woman answered the phone.

Parents of Youth Employment Program workers said the workers had showed up but not received any direction or supervision.

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Categories: Politics

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at editor@navajotimes.com.