Farmington — Another Navajo chapter wants to hear from the tribe's attorney general regarding whether members of the Navajo Nation Council who face criminal charges should continue serving on the council.
On Sunday, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad chapter members passed a resolution requesting Navajo Nation Attorney General Harrison Tsosie issue an opinion on the matter.
The chapter membership voted 33 in favor, none opposed and three abstained.
Chapter president Lester Begay said he plans to submit the resolution to the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, which houses the attorney general's office, in Window Rock by Friday.
He said that during the meeting, chapter members also talked about what the process could be if a delegate is found guilty of criminal activity, if restitution would be possible, and would the delegate be removed from office.
"They all agreed something has to be done," Begay said.
Tiis Tsoh Sikaad's action comes less than a week after Shiprock Chapter issued a similar resolution.
Shiprock's resolution was passed on Jan. 6 and submitted to the attorney general's office two days later by Shiprock Chapter President Duane "Chili" Yazzie, according to a staff member with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice.
Tsosie was unavailable for comment Monday because he is on travel until Wednesday, according to his office.
Both measures were issued after allegations that some current and former delegates misused the council's discretionary fund program, which is meant to help tribal members with financial emergencies.
The special prosecutors are continuing their investigation and last month they filed a motion to dismiss civil charges filed in July 2011 against former speaker Lawrence T. Morgan and former delegates Alice Benally, Roy Dempsey, Raymond Joe, Hoskie Kee, Lena Manheimer, David Shondee and Harry Willeto.
Those charges were dismissed "without prejudice," which means they can be refiled, on Dec. 19 by Window Rock District Court Judge Carol Perry.
In a Dec. 11 memorandum to the district court, the special prosecutors determined the claims against Benally, Dempsey and Shondee should be dismissed without prejudice and complaints for violating the Navajo Nation Ethics in Government Law be filed against the trio in the tribe's Office of Hearings and Appeals.
The special prosecutors also determined that claims against Joe, Willeto, Kee, Morgan and Manheimer be dismissed without prejudice and criminal charges be filed in district court.
Morgan, who represented Iyanbito and Pinedale chapters in New Mexico, and Manheimer, who represented Navajo Mountain and Ts'ah bii Kin chapters in Arizona, were criminally charged Dec. 3 with six counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy.
Criminal charges were filed in August against Joe, Kee and Willeto.
Benally represented the New Mexico chapters of Crownpoint and Nahodishgish; Dempsey represented Oak Springs and St. Michaels in Arizona; Joe represented the Arizona chapters of Blue Gap-Tachee and Whippoorwill; Kee represented Baca-Prewitt, Casamero Lake and Littlewater in New Mexico; Shondee represented Chilchinbeto and Kayenta in Arizona; and Willeto represented the New Mexico chapters of Counselor, Nageezi and Ojo Encino.
The special prosecutors also submitted a request to dismiss the 2011 civil charges against Speaker Johnny Naize and current delegate Nelson BeGaye as well as former delegates George Arthur, Willie Begay, Harry Clark, Jack Colorado, Orlanda Smith Hodge, Harry Hubbard, Roy Laughter, Woody Lee, Elmer Milford, Leonard Teller, Young Jeff Tom and Harry Williams.
Criminal charges of bribery and conspiracy were filed in December against Naize and Arthur, who represented Nenahnezad, San Juan and Tiis Tsoh Sikaad.