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Updated Jun 7, 2014 - 3:45 pm

Navajo leader's case back in tribal district court

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- Navajo Nation Council delegates won't be talking out their differences in placing the speaker on paid administrative leave.

Speaker Johnny Naize said his colleagues' decision was invalid and denied him due process.

The Window Rock District Court referred the case to the tribe's peacemaking program, a traditional method of dispute resolution.

But only two of the 13 people Naize is suing agreed to peacemaking. Delegate Leonard Tsosie said some lawmakers saw peacemaking as futile after Naize rebuffed initial attempts at it. Naize later agreed to make a good faith effort to promote harmony among his colleagues.

The lack of complete participation means the case goes back to district court.

Lawmakers placed Naize on leave in April, months after he was charged in a criminal case. He has pleaded not guilty.

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