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Official accused of using funds


Documents submitted to the Times seem to indicate Division of Community Development Director Carl Smith attempted to use New Mexico tribal infrastructure funds and tribal resources to add a bathroom to a cabin he owns in Mariano Lake, New Mexico.

Carl Smith

Among the documents, which were dropped off anonymously at the Times office, is a June 9, 2017, memo from Ronald Tsosie, who identifies himself in the memo as “Construction supervisor, Mariano Lake Chapter Project.”

The memo is addressed to Ben Cowboy, a project manager in the DCD’s Capital Projects Management Department.

The memo is titled: “Home Assessment Re: Gladys Yazzie.” Yazzie’s is one of 21 names appearing on a list of Mariano Lake residents who had been selected to receive bathroom additions under a $300,000 tribal infrastructure grant from the state.

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About The 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