KNAU and Arizona News
3:33 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Tuba City Officials Accused of Taking $80,000

A hearing is scheduled next month for the fifth Tuba City Chapter official facing ethics charges on the Navajo Nation.

Charlene Nez, the chapter’s secretary and treasurer, is accused of taking $26,000 in chapter funds.

Her hearing before the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals is scheduled for Feb. 7.

Four other chapter leaders were removed from office last fall.

The officials are accused of granting themselves excessive bonuses totaling $80,000.  

The Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals found Chapter President Max Goldtooth and Vice President Robert Yazzie guilty of misappropriating more than $37,000. 

A civil hearings officer ordered the officials to repay the money to the chapter, but they have appealed to the Navajo Supreme Court.

Two other officials, Helen Herbert and Jimmy Holgate, have been ordered to repay a total of $17,000 to the Chapter.

“It’s really up to the Chapter to decide if they want to proceed with criminal proceedings,” said Lawrence John, director of the Navajo Ethics and Rules Office, which investigated the case.

No criminal charges have been filed in the Tuba City District Court against the officials.