WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – For the past several months Navajo Nation Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie has been exploiting his elected position as a platform to publicly attack the Navajo Housing Authority (NHA), doing so while failing to disclose his own ongoing personal dispute with NHA.
Since 2005, Delegate Yazzie has refused to make any payments on his two-story, five-bedroom home constructed by NHA through NHA’s Mutual Help Occupancy Program and demands on living in the home payment-free. Despite NHA’s attempts to collect payments, Delegate Yazzie insists on remaining in the NHA home, and as a result, Delegate Yazzie now owes tens of thousands of dollars to NHA for payments owed.
“Delegate Yazzie’s constant and biased attacks against NHA have compelled NHA officials to disclose his conflict of interest and expose his efforts to use his elected position to benefit himself personally, i.e. by pressuring NHA to allow him to continue to live in an NHA home without making house payments,” said NHA Government and Public Relations Director Roberta Roberts. “Council Delegate Yazzie must pay for his house just like everyone else that signed a Mutual Help homeownership agreement.”
In 2014, NHA initiated litigation against Delegate Yazzie for failing to make monthly homeownership payments. Shortly after, Delegate Yazzie contacted members of the NHA Board of Commissioners to pressure them to delay the litigation against him. Since then Delegate Yazzie has been on a public vendetta to discredit and attack NHA.
On Apr.16, 2015, during a meeting of the Naa’bik’iyatii’ (“NABI”) Committee, Delegate Yazzie publicly called on NHA to fire the Thoreau Housing Management Office Director who testified against Delegate Yazzie during the ongoing litigation and who had made numerous attempts to collect lease payments from Delegate Yazzie.
On Dec. 9, 2015, Delegate Yazzie introduced proposed Resolution No. 0400-15, which would have directed NHA to issue reports and take other actions. This legislation would have directly and personally assisted Delegate Yazzie and his ongoing litigation against NHA. Delegate Yazzie has since withdrawn this proposed resolution.
Because of Delegate Yazzie’s conflicts of interest and undue influence, NHA filed a complaint with the Navajo Nation Ethics and Rules Office on December 16, 2015 to halt Delegate Yazzie’s abuse of power, improper influence, and other violations of the Navajo Nation Ethics in Government Law. The Navajo Nation Ethics and Rules Office is currently investigating NHA’s complaint against Delegate Yazzie. Nevertheless, Delegate Yazzie’s attacks against NHA have persisted.
“Delegate Yazzie has been advised many times to refrain from using his elected position to pressure and coerce NHA for his own personal benefit, however, he persists in publicly attacking and pressuring NHA in violation of the Navajo Nation Ethics in Government Law,” Roberts stated.