Navajo lawmakers override tribal president’s veto

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) June 2010

Navajo lawmakers have voted to override a presidential veto of a measure to further empower their top attorney.

Lawmakers passed a bill during May to give the chief legislative counsel the authority to hire or fire special prosecutors, a duty that historically had been reserved for the tribe’s attorney general.

The measure also subjects a panel of judges that appoints special prosecutors to confirmation by the Tribal Council, which had raised concerns that the process could become political.

Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. had vetoed the measure, saying it was self-serving, retaliatory and counter to the public interest.

The 88-member Tribal Council garnered the votes it needed to override the veto during a special session June 8 in Window Rock.