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FARMINGTON — Navajo Nation Council Delegate Mel R. Begay has pleaded not guilty to charges filed last month in the ongoing discretionary fund case.

Begay, who represents the Bahastl'ah, Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs, Naschitti and Tohatchi chapters, entered his plea on Monday in Window Rock District Court in Window Rock, Ariz.

On July 13, the tribe's special prosecutor filed seven counts against Begay, alleging he abused the council's discretionary fund by making or permitting false tribal vouchers that totaled $4,500 in financial assistance.

The council created the discretionary fund to provide financial help to tribal members facing financial hardship or in need of emergency assistance.

Begay agreed to a temporary release with conditions. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 1 in Window Rock District Court.

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