Navajo Panel Votes Against Bill To Remove Speaker

Jan 24, 2014

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A Navajo Nation Council committee has voted against legislation to remove council Speaker Johnny Naize because of pending bribery and conspiracy charges.

The Daily Times reports that the committee voted twice Thursday to table the legislation sponsored by Delegate Alton Joe Shepherd.

However, the legislation still advances to the council's winter session, which starts Monday in Window Rock.

Delegate Shepherd says his legislation is intended to preserve the integrity and image of the council's speaker.

Naize has said he will not step down and that he did nothing wrong. He is serving his second consecutive two-year term as speaker.

Naize is scheduled to be arraigned in March on 10 counts of bribery and one of conspiracy, stemming from an investigation into lawmakers' use of tribal discretionary funds.