By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
Here is part of one taped conversation that Brown had with MacDonald while agents listened:
Brown: I'm just afraid that I'm facing a multiple, multiple amount of perjury charges. I'm sticking to the line, though.
MacDonald: Well, that's exactly what we're doing.
MacDonald Jr.: I'm staying right here. We're all three of us, Three Musketeers, shoulder to shoulder. . .I mean, there's only three of us know the whole story. And that's you, me and Dad. That's it. I don't care what anybody else says. There's nobody involved but us three.
Brown: Yeah, but even my attorney doesn't believe me.
Brown: And the Senate guys don't, either. But my concern is, are you strong enough and is your dad strong enough to stand up to this without. . .usually what happens is somebody cracks.
Brown had already betrayed him. But even without this knowledge, Peter MacDonald Sr. realized the deal was stacked.
MacDonald says at one point on the tape: "If it's anybody's ass they're trying to hang, it's me. Because if they get over the Big Boquillas bullshit and the BMW, and any other things like that, I'm sure they have got 10 or 15 more things. . .I'm the No. 1 target. And that's the sad truth."
When it came down to it, both Brown and MacDonald's own son testified against him before the Senate committee. "They even turned my own son against me," MacDonald said, sadly. He never said anything publicly about Brown's actions.
Brown, the man who devised the Big Boquillas scheme, was granted full immunity by both the Senate committee and the U.S. Attorney's Office for his actions.
The government was willing to pay any price to see to it that MacDonald was stripped of his tribal chairmanship.
In a federal hearing in March 1991 before visiting U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, it was revealed that Brown's profit was $4 million.
In the hearing, a letter dated December 13, 1988, revealed that the government would not prosecute Brown in a civil suit for the Big Boquillas sale proceeds and that it also would not assist the Navajos in any civil suit against Brown.
Brown's testimony against MacDonald at a tribal hearing was declared to be the most important testimony in MacDonald's removal and conviction.
Judge Coughenour wrote a stinging rebuke:
"The government argued that it thought it was bargaining for a witness who was 'minimally culpable' but got a witness who is a 'liar' and a 'professional briber.'
"The government says Brown misrepresented his character and the scope of his involvement in the scheme. However, it is difficult to believe that the government, being aware of the earlier payments to Chairman MacDonald and the millions of profits taken by Mr. Brown, would have thought that Mr. Brown was anything but culpable and anything but a briber."
MacDonald is 64 now. He has already been sentenced to serve seven years in a tribal jail cell in Tuba City. If convicted again, he faces even more time in a federal prison.
It took a long time. But the Republican party finally got even.