FARMINGTON — Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize has issued a statement addressing allegations he abused the council's discretionary fund.
Naize was charged with 10 counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy by the tribe's special prosecutors in criminal complaints filed Dec. 3 in Window Rock District Court in Window Rock, Ariz.
"It is my belief that when these issues are resolved, I will have been exonerated and my name will be cleared," Naize said in the statement.
The statement was emailed Wednesday to The Daily Times and included a note stating that the Office of the Speaker will not accept questions regarding it.
Naize is accused of issuing $36,900 in discretionary funding to family members of current and former council delegates.
In exchange, his family members received $36,550 in discretionary funding, according to court documents.
Discretionary funding is financial assistance the council appropriates to provide emergency and hardship assistance to tribal members.
Naize, who represents Blue Gap-Tachee, Cottonwood-Tselani, Low Mountain, Many Farms and Nazlini chapters in Arizona, was elected to serve a second consecutive term as speaker in January.
To read Naize's entire statement, go to daily-times.com.