David L. Tom resigns his position as delegate on the Navajo Nation Council
FARMINGTON — A Navajo Council delegate who pleaded no contest to a conspiracy to commit bribery charge has resigned his position, said Jared Touchin, a Navajo Council spokesman.
David L. Tom announced his resignation in a written notice to the Navajo Elections Office, Touchin said.
"I David L. Tom will submit my resignation from serving as Navajo Nation Council Delegate as a governing body of the Navajo Nation Legislative Council," Tom wrote in the letter.
Tom is the second council delegate to resign in less than two weeks. Former Speaker Johnny Naize resigned from the Council at the end of last month.
Tom's term would have ended in January.
Tom admitted to authorizing more than $95,000 in financial assistance to family members of former delegate Ernest D. Yazzie. Last month, Yazzie pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in the discretionary fund case. Current and former council delegates were accused of creating a scheme where a delegate would allocate money to another who, in turn, would allocate the same amount to back.
Tom was unavailable for comment.
Tom, elected in 2002, represented New Mexico's Beclabito, Gadii'ahi-Tokoi, Sheep Springs, Toadlena-Two Grey Hills and Tsé Alnaozt'i'í chapters and Arizona's Red Valley and Cove chapters.
Calls to chapters he represented seeking comment were deferred to chapter officials, who were unavailable for comment.
The affected chapters have 45 days to recommend a replacement once the Election Office declares Tom's seat vacant.
Pro-tem Speaker LoRenzo Bates will appoint a replacement for Tom. Tom sought reelection but failed to make it past the primary elections.
"I wish Mr. Tom well in his future endeavors, meanwhile, Council will continue to move forward," Bates said in a release.
Voters will chose a new delegate in the November election. The two candidates are Amber Kanazbah Crotty and Larry Duncan.