WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Law and Order Committee of the 24th Navajo Nation Council met Monday and selected Council Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton (Shiprock) to chair the committee and selected Council Delegate Otto Tso (Tó Nanees Dizí) as vice chair.
Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie (Churchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, Thoreau) was also nominated for chair but lost by a 3-2 vote. He was similarly nominated for vice chair but failed consent by a 4-1 vote.
“Anybody that knows me can attest to me being very much by the book,” Chair Charles-Newton said. “Sometimes the law needs to be defined or corrected. Sometimes it needs to change with the times. I think that is where our leadership should stand.”
She brings experience to the committee as a former Navajo Nation prosecutor and as a law librarian where she did legal research for lawyers, judges, and university professors.
On the committee’s agenda were two confirmation legislations which were passed unanimously by the committee, advancing them forward to the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee.
Legislation 0013-19, a measure consenting to the appointment of Jesse Delmar as Division of Public Safety executive director, is sponsored by Council Delegate Herman Daniels, Jr. (Shonto, Naa’tsis’áán, Oljato, Ts’áh Bii Kin).
Legislation 0017-19, a measure consenting to the appointment of Doreen N. McPaul as the attorney general, is sponsored by Delegate Yazzie.
The following two bills swiftly received committee approval and were sponsored by Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gadi’i’áhi/To’Koi, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Tsé ałnáoz’t’I’í). They advance to the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee’s consideration.
Legislation 0032-19, a measure supporting New Mexico House Bill 278 entitled “an Act relating to missing persons; Creating the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force; making an appropriation; declaring an emergency.”
Legislation 0033-19, supporting Arizona House Bill 2570 entitled, “an Act establishing a study committee on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
LOC members approved orientation dates to familiarize themselves with the committee’s oversight duties with the Division of Public Safety, Judicial Branch, Department of Justice, Office of the Public Defender, Ethics and Rules Office, Office of Hearing & Appeals, and Labor Commission.
The next LOC meeting is scheduled for March 11th at the LOC building in Window Rock.