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FARMINGTON — New legislation seeks to confirm Kimberly Dutcher as deputy attorney general for the Navajo Nation.

Dutcher was appointed in March by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer, but the bill confirming her nomination was not introduced until Aug. 13.

Delegate Otto Tso is sponsoring the measure and it is assigned to the Law and Order Committee, the Naa'bik'íyáti' Committee and to the Navajo Nation Council, where final authority rests.

Dutcher has been serving as acting deputy attorney general since April.

Prior to her selection, she worked as a court solicitor for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona.

She served from July 2015 to January 2017 as the executive director for the Association on American Indian Affairs — a nonprofit organization in Rockville, Maryland that advocates for protecting sovereignty, preserving culture, educating youth and building capacity.

Additionally, she worked for the Gila River Indian Community in Sacaton, Arizona and private law firms in Arizona.

Dutcher received her law degree from Arizona State University in 2001 and is licensed to practice law in Arizona and in federal court in Arizona.

Navajo Nation AG announces new department unit

Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen N. McPaul announced the formation of a new unit under the tribe's Department of Justice to provide legal services to the 110 chapters.

The announcement was made in a press release from the president's office, which stated the unit began operations on Aug. 5 and is led by Assistant Attorney General Rodgerick Begay.

"The chapters represent the largest clients of the Department of Justice, so this unit will assist in moving projects and legal matters forward," President Nez said.

McPaul said the Justice Department collaborated with the tribe's Division of Community Development to initiate the new entity.

The chapter unit joins other units that address issues such as natural resources, tax and finance and water rights.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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