FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Two leaders of the Navajo Nation’s legislative branch
have been charged with misusing tribal funds intended for Navajos in need.
Prosecutors filed bribery and conspiracy charges this week against former
Tribal Council Speaker Lawrence Morgan, his successor, Johnny Naize, and former
council Delegates Lena Manheimer and George Arthur.
Criminal complaints in Window Rock District Court allege that the families of
the four defendants benefited by nearly $93,000. Navajo law prohibits nepotism.
Some 20 people now face criminal or ethics charges in the case.
Arthur did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. A spokesman
for Naize says the speaker hasn’t been served, and an attorney for Morgan in a
related civil case declined comment.
A legal advocate representing Manheimer in that civil case says the criminal
allegations are far-fetched.