Bogus bonuses

2 Tuba City officials removed for scamming illegal bonuses

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, Oct. 24, 2011

Text size: A A A

Two officials for Toh Nanees Dizi Chapter has been removed from office in the investigation into five officials accused of illegally paying themselves bonuses totaling over $80,000.

Jimmy Holgate, who served on the chapter governing council, was removed on Tuesday when he failed to show up for a hearing before the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

The hearing included witnesses who had traveled all of the way from Tucson. As a result of the default judgment, Holgate will have to reimburse the chapter $7,644 and cannot run for public office for five years.

Last week, Helen Herbert came to the tribe's ethics Office and admitted she had defrauded the chapter.

She too was on the governing council. She agreed to reimburse the chapter $10,000 by paying $200 a month to the Ethics Office.

That still leaves the top three chapter officials facing hearings.

Robert Yazzie, council vice president, was scheduled to go before OHA on Oct. 20. He is accused of illegally taking $20,180.

Council President Max Goldtooth is scheduled to have a hearing Nov. 9 on charges of misappropriating $17,200.

The hearing for Secretary-Treasurer Charlene Nez, who is accused of taking $26,668, is scheduled Nov. 30.

All five are accused of giving themselves illegal bonuses for doing ordinary chapter business. For example, each got a $3,000 Christmas bonus as well as anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for signing ordinary resolutions approved by the chapter.

The charges filed by the Ethics Office said the officials also violated tribal law by failing to present the payments for approval by chapter members before the checks were issued.

Back to top ^