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Chapter Calls for Ouster of President’s Daughter

Chapter Calls for Ouster of President’s Daughter
May 14
08:43 2018

Weeks after she was charged with “severe” DWI Karis Begaye, daughter of Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, is now on leave.

Begaye, 41, is also seeking treatment.

But will that be enough to save her job as legal counsel to the Office of the President?

The Fort Defiance Chapter passed a resolution calling for Begaye’s termination. The resolution passed 19-0 with seven abstentions.

This is not Begaye’s first driving while intoxicated charge. She was also charged in New Mexico in 2002 and 2003.

Begaye’s latest arrest came on April 22 after she collided with a semi-trailer and destroyed about 40 feet of guardrail on Highway 17, south of Flagstaff.

On May 5 Lynette Willie, former campaign manager for President Begaye, spotted Karis Begaye driving a tribal vehicle on Gallup. Willie followed for her toward Albuquerque while trying to get a picture of Begaye driving.

An image of Begaye behind the wheel was posted on a Facebook page committed to poitics on the Navajo Nation.

Mihio Manus, a spokesman for President Begaye, confirmed Karis’ leave, but did not say whether it was unpaid or not.

In addition to DWI Begaye was charged with felony criminal damage and suspicion of endangerment. The felony charge could lead to a jail sentence of between six- and 18-months.

Begaye told the officer on the scene that she had had two glasses of wine.

In a May 4 statement, Begaye noted that many Navajo families have been impacted by alcoholism.

Because of that, the Begaye administration was declaring a “War on Alcoholism,” Manus said.

Manus did not say what discipline Begaye might face.

According to Willie the Navajo Nation’s personnel policy calls for the immediate termination of any employee caught driving under the influence.

However Begaye falls outside of the tribe’s personnel policies because she serves at the will of the president.

Fort Defiance Chapter President Wilson Stewart, Jr., said other chapters have contacted him for copies of their resolution.

 

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