Judge drops charges against 4 in Navajo fraud case

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) August 2012

A Navajo Nation judge has granted a request by prosecutors to dismiss civil charges against four defendants in a tribal fraud case.

Dozens of former and current tribal officials have been accused of defrauding the tribal government in the use or management of $36 million in discretionary funds.

Judge Carol Perry’s order last week clears Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, his predecessor, Louis Denetsosie, and tribal lawmakers LoRenzo Bates and Leonard Tsosie of the charges for now.

Perry did not approve the prosecution’s request to drop the charges with prejudice. She says it’s unclear how the rights of other defendants in the case might be impacted by a complete dismissal.

The prosecution has said they expect that most of the defendants’ cases will be settled, dismissed or result in ethics complaints.