Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 19

Case against Speaker Morgan dismissed by District Court
Dismissal concludes two-year legal battle

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Window Rock District Court Judge T.J. Holgate dismissed a nearly two year case against Navajo Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan and Morgan's Chief of Staff Dr. James Davis Jr. by Will Graven, owner of North American Building and Development Construction Co. of Chandler.

The case was dis-missed based on sovereign immunity. According to 1 N.N.C. § 553 (A), "The Navajo Nation is a sovereign nation which is immune from suit." This means a plaintiff can only sue the Navajo Nation in certain circumstances, and only if certain specific procedures are followed.

The Navajo Sovereign Immunity Act establishes those procedures.

The dismissal concludes a nearly two-year legal battle that resulted in false accusations from Graven. He alleged Morgan did not pay for preliminary construction work when he was solicited as a possible contractor for a proposed Legislative Building for the Navajo Nation.

Graven was one of many other companies seeking the bid for the project. He alleged a contract was signed, but it was merely a letter of intent to seek services from his company, which was a letter Graven encouraged.

In the process of

seeking design information from Graven, Morgan had requested a due diligence report on Graven's company and found a questionable business practices. Once that was discovered, Morgan stopped the process, and so, the two year legal battle ensued from Graven.  

Morgan and Davis were represented by Patrick T. Mason, an attorney with Mason & Isaacson of Gallup, N.M.

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