Witherspoon resigns from Council to serve as chief of staff


Council delegate Dwight Witherspoon, who represents Hard Rock, Forest Lake, Pinon, Black Mesa and Whippoorwill chapters, has resigned as delegate and will be taking on a new job as President Russell Begaye’s chief of staff for the remaining weeks of his administration.


Navajo Times | File
Dwight Witherspoon

The revolving door at the Office of the President and Vice President continues even as they near the end of their administration. Witherspoon’s resignation to Speaker LoRenzo Bates is dated for Monday and it ends his nearly eight years as Council delegate.

“I have been asked by President Russell Begaye to serve as his Chief of Staff to serve the Navajo Nation Executive Branch,” Witherspoon states in his letter. “I deem this request like the President of the Untied States asking a Senator to serve as Secretary of State or Attorney General.”

It’s unclear when exactly former Chief of Staff Robert Joe left the office for the second time. Clara Pratt and Arbin Mitchell also did stints as chief of staff.

Witherspoon is not running for re-election. In his capacity as delegate for the 23rd Navajo Nation Council he was the co-chair for the Budget and Finance Committee, chairperson of the Naabikiyati State Task Force Subcommittee, and vice chairman of the Navajo Hopi Land Commission. During the 22nd Navajo Nation Council he was a member of the Health, Education and Human Services Committee.

Since he will be leaving his delegate seat vacant before the 24th Navajo Nation Council is sworn in, it will be up to his chapters to appoint his replacement. He stated that he suggests his chapters select the delegate who wins his seat in the general elections Tuesday.

“I will continue to serve the Navajo Nation, including Dzil Yijiin communities in this new capacity,” Witherspoon stated. “I encourage my five chapters to unanimously select the individual who wins the November 6th 2018 election for council delegate in my region to be recommended by chapter resolution for appointment.”

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Categories: Politics

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.