KNAU and Arizona News
7:36 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

BIA presses Navajo Nation to investigate public safety chief

The Navajo Division of Public Safety is in danger of losing $ 35 million in federal funding.

The Navajo Times newspaper reports it has obtained a letter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to President Ben Shelly outlining the federal agency’s concerns.

The letter cites a recent Navajo Times investigation of Public Safety Director John Billison.

The newspaper reported that a protection order was issued against Billison in Phoenix in 2004 after a woman claimed he had repeatedly assaulted her.

Billison is also accused of covering up domestic violence allegations against another police officer. 

According to the Navajo Times, the BIA also wants to know by next week how the police department is addressing the alleged misconduct.

Otherwise, the agency could pull its funding.

On Jan. 9, the Tribal Council’s Law and Order Committee asked President Ben Shelly to remove Billison.

So far, Shelly has resisted, saying Billison is “innocent until proven guilty.”