Saturday, July 20, 2024

Ethel Branch selects Eric Dahlstrom to review improper employment practices in president’s office

WINDOW ROCK – Attorney General Ethel Branch selected Eric N. Dahlstrom to review improper employment practices in the president’s office.

Dahlstrom, a partner in Rothstein Donatelli’s Tempe, Arizona, office. The appointment comes after recent sexual harassment, bullying, and mistreatment allegations within the president’s office.

Dahlstrom has served as a special prosecutor for the Nation in the past. His work includes prosecuting 15 Council delegates and two tribal employees who faced 140 criminal complaints relating to discretionary funds misuse.

Dahlstrom has begun his preliminary investigation and requests that anyone with information relevant to these allegations should contact him at navajotip@rothsteinlaw.com or call/text at 505-989-9752. Dahlstrom said all information will be confidential.

The Navajo Nation attorney general is authorized to conduct a preliminary investigation when they receive information that constitutes grounds to investigate the highest level of government in Diné Bikéyah.

“People ask me, ‘What’s happening in the president’s office?’” President Buu Nygren said in Navajo on Thursday, May 30. “I’m asked, ‘Is it true some women in your office were sexually harassed?’

“First, a complaint was filed about an incident between a man and a woman. Because of that, the man was fired (shortly) after the incident,” Nygren said t’áá Dinék’ehjígo. “The victim, a woman, resigned after a few months because she had other priorities at home.

“Second, the vice president spoke during the Council’s Spring Session (April 15), sharing her experience with mistreatment and improper employment practices,” Nygren continued. “The following day (April 16), she announced on Facebook she was sexually harassed during a meeting last August. She said she was spoken to disrespectfully. In the English language, it’s sexual harassment/sexual assault.”

Nygren said in Navajo that he questioned who Vice President Richelle Montoya was talking about in her April 16 announcement. Nygren said he didn’t sexually harass Montoya, nor did he speak to her disrespectfully.

“It’s scary how she twisted my words around,” Nygren said. “I’m not happy about that. Why did she speak like that?

“I’m being blamed for what’s going on in the (Office of the President and Vice President). That’s not right,” he added. “That’s how I’m being talked about. Now, it’s in the newspapers.”

Read the full story in the June 6, edition of the Navajo Times.


About The Author

Krista Allen

Krista Allen is editor of the Navajo Times.

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