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Navajo measure to increase attorney’s power fails

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) April 2010

A measure to further increase the authority of the top attorney for the Navajo Nation’s legislative branch has failed.

Tribal lawmakers voted 40-25 in favor of the bill to give the legislative counsel authority equal to that of the tribe’s attorney general in hiring or terminating a special prosecutor. But it required 59 votes to pass.

The bill sponsored by Delegate Orlanda Smith Hodge also would have subjected judges selected for the panel that appoints special prosecutors to confirmation by the Tribal Council.

The council voted earlier this year to allow the legislative counsel to issue legal opinions, contract with outside attorneys and enforce election codes. The tribal president vetoed that measure, but the council overrode it. The weeklong spring session continues Wednesday.

 

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