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Alleged Las Vegas incident may cost Speaker’s seat

Alleged Las Vegas incident may cost Speaker’s seat

By Donovan Quintero, Krista Allen, and Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK 

Speaker of the 24th Navajo Nation Council Seth Damon made a phone call to his colleagues on Tuesday morning to speak to them of an alleged incident that happened at the Indian National Finals Rodeo.

Council delegates Paul Begay and Eugenia Charles-Newton spoke to the Navajo Times on Wednesday evening and said Damon told the Council of a photograph depicting him allegedly intoxicated at a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Begay said he did not know all of the details and said it was vague.

“I don’t really know what happened. I hear there’s something on social media, so I don’t know anything about it. They weren’t specific on what they told us, other than some impropriety happened,” Begay said.

Begay said Damon informed the Council he would leave it up to them to decide what their next step could be regarding the incident.

“The speaker basically said that I guess he left it up to the Council to do whatever the Council wants to do,” Begay said.

Charles-Newton said Damon did not want to make any excuses and reiterated he was not in Vegas on tribal business.

“He didn’t use Navajo Nation money, he was out there his own dime,” she said.

Charles-Newton said she asked him if he was planning to step down as speaker.

He basically said that he is weighing all of his options, said Charles-Newton.

Charles-Newton said as elected officials, they should be held accountable for all action, positive or negative.

“Being the speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, we have to hold him accountable,” Charles-Newton said. “If he chooses to get help, he’d have a lot of support.

“People can choose their own leaders,” she added.

A photo on social media depicts Damon, wearing a cowboy hat, during the INFR. The photo went viral on social media, showing Damon appearing to slouch by a slot machine inside a casino.

Damon, who is running unopposed, is serving his second term on the Council. He represents Bááhááli, Chéch’iltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, and Tsayatoh.

Damon is Bit’ahnii and born for Naaneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii. His maternal grandfather is ‘Áshįįhí, and his paternal grandfather is Tsé Nahabiłnii.

Attempts to reach Damon went unanswered and at press time he did not respond to a voicemail message left by the Navajo Times.


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