The Navajo Nation moved even closer to a clear race for the Navajo Presidency on Monday as Russell Begaye was cleared to be on the general election ballots.
On November 24, the Office of Hearings and Appeals for the Navajo Nation released its final judgment for a grievance filed October 31 to disqualify him.
The OHA stated, “Based on the above Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, this matter must be and is hereby DISMISSED. Respondent Russell Begaye will continue to be on the 2014 General Election Presidential ballot.”
Myron McLaughlin, who was one of the original 17 candidates for the Navajo Presidency during the primary elections, filed the grievance claiming Begaye did not demonstrate unswerving loyalty to the Navajo Nation. One of McLaughlin’s main concerns in the grievance was Begaye’s involvement as a stakeholder with the Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company (NNOGC).
Of the OHA’s Findings of Facts, the “NNOCG [sic] is a federally chartered corporation wholly owned by the Navajo Nation and formed pursuant to Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act,” Begaye who was a Council Delegate for the Navajo Nation, “was appointed to be one of five shareholder representatives representing the ‘Navajo Nation on behalf of the Navajo people.’ Accordingly, [Begaye] was ultimately representing the Navajo people in his role as a shareholder representative.”
The decision however is subject to appeal.