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Delegates worry over $32 million audit finding


Three audit findings continue to haunt the Department of Public Safety and delegates are worried that they will have to pay $32 million back.

In 2015, the U.S. Office of Inspector General found that the Navajo Nation had built the Kayenta and Tuba City jails far larger than what was needed, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In the 2015 report, it stated the tribe spent $38.6 million on the jail in Tuba City even though a master plan called for only an $18.2 million facility. Another $31.7 million went for Kayenta that originally had called for a $20 million. “This is something serious that we need to take seriously,” said Budget and Finance Committee Vice Chair Raymond Smith during Tuesday’s committee meeting.

“If we don’t take care of this, we will have to pay $32 million plus?” he continued. “If we had complied with what the provisions were and did what the grant had said then the findings wouldn’t have been brought forth. This puts a big shadow over us.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, Department of Public Safety Director Jesse Delmar and Director of Corrections Delores Greyeyes presented an update on the audit. The $32 million audit finding was only one of the nine that were initially found in 2015. Delmar said that six of those findings were resolved, but three findings, including the $32 million, were still in limbo.

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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reported on Navajo Nation Council and Office of the President and Vice President. 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.


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