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News Release

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

According to the Navajo Nation Ethics and Rules Office, there are currently no formal complaints against any member of the 24th Navajo Nation Council.

Speaker Seth Damon (Baahaali, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) submitted a letter to Ethics and Rules December 5 to request information regarding formal ethics complaints against any member of the Navajo Nation Council.

“There is not one single complaint filed against a standing member of the Navajo Nation Council, contrary to exaggerated news coverage,” Speaker Damon said. “We will vigorously defend against any attempts to discredit or damage the reputation of an upstanding member of Council in an attempt at personal retribution.”

Ethics and Rules Office responded with a letter which stated that the office plan of operation, LOCJA-02-13, and internal guidelines on case intake, investigations and priorities, prevents office employees from disclosing information on cases within the office.

The sensationalized news article from the December 5 issue of the Navajo Times alleged that there was an ethics complaint against Council Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton (Shiprock). The reporter referenced the complaint more than a dozen times in the article.

Rodriquez Morris, acting director of Ethics and Rules Office stated, “All matters within this office are confidential and will remain so until a complaint is filed. Should any complaints be filed by this office then it becomes public record and thus may be disclosed after the Respondent has been served a copy of said complaint.”

Morris explained that any information leaked to the press by a member of the office would result in disciplinary action according to the Navajo Nation Personnel Policies and Procedures. “I affirm that no staff member from this office met with or spoke with anyone from the Navajo Times,” he stated.

He added that if a complaining party released information to the press or public with the intentions of embarrassing or harassing a public official, they would jeopardize their case and face criminal charges. Moreover, if a party filed an intake without proper cause with malice or improper purpose, they would face criminal charges per the Ethics in Government Law, a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and imprisonment for not more than 180 days.

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