Navajo Council concludes special session

Proposed legislation to remove Denetsosie, Tsosie fails

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - During the second day of its special session last week, the 21st Navajo Nation Council addressed items ranging from community development to public safety, as well as pieces of legislation calling for the removal of Navajo Nation Attorney General Louis Denetsosie and Deputy Attorney General Harrison Tsosie.

Delegate Larry Noble was one of the many Co"This legislation provides an opportunity for our chapters to reallocate funds where funds are needed," Nez stated. "The legislation would temporarily help with chapter budgets until the FY 2011 Comprehensive Budget is approved by the 22nd Navajo Nation Council. The reallocation of funds will be tracked for budgeting and auditing purposes, but most importantly it helps our Navajo Nation Chapters."

The Council also confirmed the appointments of Danielle Her Many Horses and Martha L. King as board members to the Navajo Nation Gaming Board of Directors. Both Her Many Horses and King will serve four year terms.

After addressing the remaining items on the Council agenda, Delegate Orlanda Smith Hodge issued a motion to recall the Navajo Nation Cross-Commission Agreements Act of 2010. On Dec. 22, the Navajo Nation Cross-Commission Agreements Act of 2010 failed by a vote of 37-26.

On the recall vote, the Council voted 42-26 to pass the legislation. With the Council's vote, law enforcement agencies from surrounding border towns now have the authority to make arrests on the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety will educate and collaborate with surrounding police jurisdictions regarding the impacts of the new law.

uncil delegates who spoke against removing Tsosie. "I see potential in Mr. Tsosie and I believe in him, despite some skeptical work that he has done," Noble said. "We need our own people here working for us, they are our capital ... [L]et us work together to restore k'é and harmony. Mr. Tsosie's removal does not solve any of our issues."

After considerable debate, the Council voted against removing Tsosie, 65-3. The Council's decision allows Tsosie to continue providing legal services to the Navajo Nation until his term as the deputy attorney general ends Jan. 11.

Additional legislation to remove Attorney General Louise Denetsosie was also on the Council agenda, but because there was no motion the item died. Denetsosie will continue exercising his authority as the Navajo Nation's top legal attorney until his term ends Jan. 11.

Both pieces of legislation also lacked supporting documentation for removal to occur.

In other action, the Council narrowly passed legislation authorizing Navajo Nation Chapters to utilize carry-over funds from previous fiscal years, including Fiscal Year 2010, by a vote of 37-36.

Sponsor Jonathan Nez said Navajo Nation Chapters will be able to utilize and reallocate non-lapsed funds from previous fiscal years to help with chapter government operation costs or even community needs. The legislation would not take effect until the 2011 Fiscal Year Comprehensive Budget is adopted by the 22nd Navajo Nation Council.

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