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Navajo lawmaker pleads not guilty in criminal case

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — A Navajo Nation lawmaker has pleaded not guilty to
criminal charges stemming from an investigation of the Tribal Council’s use of
discretionary funds.

David Tom entered his plea Friday in Window Rock District Court.

Tom, who represents several Navajo communities on the council, is facing 13
charges that include bribery, conspiracy and filing false vouchers.

Prosecutors allege that Tom conspired with other lawmakers to pay his children
and wife more than $95,000 of the $584,000 allocated for two Navajo communities
he served. They also allege that Tom approved college tuition for an
ex-lawmaker’s children while they were attending grade school or high school.

An arraignment scheduled Friday for an account specialist in the tribal
speaker’s office was postponed. Victoria Cecil is accused of submitting false
applications for financial assistance and of lying to prosecutors.


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