| News |

Navajo President Placed on Leave Pending Investigation

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Joe Shirley Jr., president of the Navajo Nation, was placed on administrative leave today, pending an investigation into ethical, civil, or criminal involvement with two companies with tribal contracts.

During a special session of the Navajo Nations Tribal Council, members voted 48-22 to place Shirley on leave during the investigation as it looks into tribal dealings with the two companies.

The investigation stems from complaints about contracts with Utah-based OnSat Network Communications Inc., and Shiprock, New Mexico-based Biochemical Decontamination Systems.

Two complaints involve OnSat, the company contracted to provide Internet access to the Nation's 110 chapters across the country for $1.9 million. The complaints say the Nation, under Shirley's leadership, was charged for services it never received.

The third complaint against Shirley stems from a $2.2 million J.P. Morgan loan to Biochemical Decontamination Systems where funds from the Navajo Dam Escrow Account were used as collateral.

Calls to Shirley's Window Rock office were not returned.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.