Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 10, 2013

Documents Aug 10, 2013: Navajo Shadow Government by Non-Navajos

Navajo Generating Station poisoning Navajoland and Grand Canyon
Documents reveal theft of Navajo water rights and secret government by non-Navajos in key Navajo Nation positions -- working in collusion with dirty coal

"This is all evidence of the 'shadow government' at work. The non-Navajo controlled 'secret government' that ultimately rules us." Ed Becenti, grassroots Dine'

By Ed Becenti, Dine'
Censored News

Here are three important documents. This is a fight for the very soul of our tribal government. The first is from Bennie Williams (who was recently forced to retire as Water Code Administrator by Tariq.) It his statement of concern to the Resources Committee about the harassment and retaliation over 2.5 years from mostly Najam Tariq, who basically destroyed Bennie physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The second is an August 8 memo from Jack Utter to Fred White and Katherine Benally about the continuing contempt of Tariq against the Resources Committee's directives.

The third, dated for next Monday the 12th of August, is Fred White's memo on how he's going to fix the problems arising from the unlawful takeover of the Water Code by Tariq 2.5 years ago. He's taking responsibility for the Water Code in his office, and appointing Tariq to be Water Code supervisor. The word is that if Fred succeeds with this bogus memo, Tariq is going to serve termination papers on Jack Monday or shortly thereafter.

This is all evidence of the 'shadow government' at work. The non-Navajo controlled 'secret government' that ultimately rules us through People like Pollack, etc. Tariq is their most visible agent. No respect for the Navajo people, for our caring elected leaders, for right over wrong, it's just about abuse, exploitation, and control.

Tariq is an alleged thief and exploiter of the Nation. He controls the DWR like his own little Pakistan. The 'shadow government' has to be brought to a halt here, as a lesson to Pollack, Hoover, Navajo Generating Station, Salt River Project, Jon Kyl, and others.  The Navajos are going to govern themselves, not the infiltrators into our tribal government.

Statement by Bennie Williams (below)
Memorandum August 8, 2013: Click link 
Memorandum for Aug. 12, 2013: Click link

Statement by Bennie Williams

Statement of Concern By:
Bennie Williams, Navajo Nation Water Code Administrator

The Honorable Members of the Resources and Development
Committee ("R. D. Committee"), Navajo Nation Council
(With copies to the Honorable Members of the Budget & Finance Committee ("B. F. Committee"), and Selected Department of Water Resources Staff, Including
Ray Benally, DWR Director)
Written July 21, 2013 and Delivered July 23, 2013
RE: (1) The Issue Before You Concerning Your Authority as Oversight
Committee of the Division of Natural Resources, and Subunits Thereof
and (2) the Fact This is Far Beyond an Internal DNR Personnel Matter
My original intent was to present this to the Honorable Committee myself. But
advice from my doctor, and an intervening appointment with a specialist, compelled
me to ask someone else to present on my behalf. I chose Dr. Jack Utter, my Water
Code hydrologist for the past 14 years. Everything he will repeat for me is already in
one or more publicly circulating documents in paper or electronic form.
My statement has developed out of input I received from meetings I have had
with mostly medical personnel, but also legal counsel and family, since I came before
you two weeks ago on July 9th. I owe them much for helping me think through,
compile, edit, and type my statement from all that has gone before.
My medical and other advisers are all aware I have had a running fight with a
serious form of cancer, and post-treatment complications, for the past five years. Mr.
Najam Tariq has been aware also, and has used this to his advantage. Despite
noteworthy success in my still unfinished effort to be a cancer survivor, I've had
several setbacks. My most recent follow-up surgery, for example, was in February.

Along with the expected physical and mental stress of my encounter with cancer,
however, came a worsening and similar, but totally unnecessary, set of stresses begun
in late 2010 and early 2011, and originating with Najam Tariq and Ray Benally of the
Department of Water Resources. I have recovered from my medical condition close to
the level my doctors' hoped for, but I could have done better without the damaging
repression from these two men and their supporters.
As I have reported to the R. & D. Committee before, these men's motivation was
based, at least originally, in water rights retaliation. It remains a strong motivation as
they continue to attempt to impress those in a certain department in Window Rock who
encourage them. But I have seen their malice, and greed for power and control, grow
as additional motivation. This happened most in the past six months, and especially
after the unlawful nature of their primary efforts was proved in my joint memorandum
with Dr. Utter of May 30th 2013 to DNR Director Fred White (as supplemented by our
joint memorandum of June 25th 2013 to the B. & F. and R. & D. Committees). This is
explained more in the later section titled "The Greater Damage & Negative Precedent
for the Navajo People."
The Personal Cost
Relentless retaliation and harassment, in various forms by Mr. Tariq (mainly)
and Mr. Benally, led to their successive confiscation from me, and the giving to Mr.
Tariq, of my previous job-related authorities over the Water Code's budget,
procurement, correspondence, personnel, transportation, planning, travel, training,
revenue generation, and duties as initial custodian of the Water Code's Special
Revenue Fund. Thus, I was left with only the humiliating shell of a job. Even my
main office staff person was taken over by Mr. Tariq's manipulations, and she quit
communicating with me on almost every subject of any significance to the Water Code
Administration program. Mr. Benally and Mr. Tariq have declared that, on their own,
they successfully merged the Water Code Administration "under" Mr. Tariq's
completely separate program. But they did so without a required change in the
Department's plan of operations and organizational chart, both of which have to be
approved by the Resources and Development Committee, and probably the
Nabik'iyati' Committee.
Though I should have, I did not resist Mr. Tariq and Mr. Benally back when
they began the unlawful merger because I did not have the extra strength to do it. Over
time the effects on me from the demeaning actions of these two men complicated my

medical problems to the point that, during the past six months, I declined physically
and mentally, and the ongoing humiliation impacted my self-esteem.
The strongest medical advice I have received over the last three weeks is that I
should begin the retirement process immediately. The hostile and demeaning work
environment created by Mr. Tariq and Mr. Benally over the past 2 1
/2 years has been
and continues to be so great a threat to my health, as observed by my primary
physician, that I have been advised not to return to the workplace. However, the
prognosis for my recovery from the demeaning and other actions of Mr. Tariq and Mr.
Benally is considered promising after I achieve separation from their control.
I had hoped to work at least another six months before retirement, but recognize
I have not been myself, and the circumstances I have endured at work have not only
demeaned and disheartened me, but also demoralized me.
Still, I am not alone. Other victims of one or both of these men, and that I can
name off hand, include Juanita Dennison, Ella Shirley, Elmer Begay, Joanne George,
Lucille Kraus, Terri Austin, Mel Badonie, Monte Chee, and, of course, Dr. Utter.
These, and others like them, are people who have dared to think for themselves, ask
questions, and/or point out irregularities and illegalities. Some may be willing to speak
out as well, and some may not, for fear of the expert retaliation, manipulation,
intimidation, and forms of bribery and enticement applied primarily by Mr. Tariq.
I apologize to you, to them, and as well to the rest of my staff, for my
shortcomings, for the damage done to the Water Code Administration over the past
two-plus years by Mr. Tariq and Mr. Benally, and for my failing to stand up to their
unlawful and manipulative actions in the very beginning. In my own defense,
however, what can one do with a man like Mr. Tariq who, for example, when
challenged on questions of unethical and unlawful behavior responds with: "No one
can touch me." or "God put me here as an authority and a judge." or, "DOJ are our
lawyers, so we [meaning Ray Benally and he] can do whatever we want."
I also thank Jack Utter for remaining loyal to the Nation and me, and for doing
what he could to stand up for me, for our small but important Water Code program, for
the Committee's authority, and for the People's rights to good government.
The Greater Damage and
Negative Precedent for the Navajo People
Despite the many personal wrongs just suggested, this whole issue ultimately is

not about Dr. Utter, or me, or other named and unnamed individuals affected by our
antagonists. It is really about you—who are some of the most important elected
leaders of the Navajo People—and about the power, trust, and responsibility the People
have placed in you. As you are aware, oversight committees, for example, are
established for the very purpose of preventing the kinds of hijacking of legislative
authority, and further abuse of office, that Dr. Utter and I have done our best to call
attention to for so long.
For approximately 30 months, Najam Tariq and Ray Benally (joined more
recently by DNR's Fred White, Robert Allan, and even the President's Office—in an
act of piling on after the tackle) have waged a clear and concerted effort to hijack the
R. D. and B. F. Committees' oversight authorities concerning (1) an unlawful
"merger" of the Water Code Administration to be "under" Mr. Tariq's Technical,
Construction and Operations Branch (or "TCOB"), within the Department of Water
Resources, and (2) an unauthorized takeover by Mr. Tariq of the so-called "Enterprise
Fund," also known as the "Special Revenue Fund," that was legislatively created and
assigned to the Water Code Administration for Water Code purposes. Mr. Tariq, a
non-Navajo, has already taken over so much in the way of Navajo programs, he does
not need to take over any more. In fact, Navajos need to reclaim what he has taken.
If the illicit acts described by me here—and by Dr. Utter and me in additional
written warnings—are allowed to continue, they set a very harmful precedent for
further and continuing abuses within the DNR and elsewhere. They also subvert the
oversight authorities entrusted to the legislative branch by the Navajo People.
Again—and although we have written much on the unlawful actions of Mr.
Tariq and Mr. Benally—the two most useful documents Dr. Utter and I have prepared
specifically on the takeover issues are the May 30, 2013 memorandum to Mr. Fred
White (with seven important EXHIBITS) and the June 25, 2013 memorandum to the
Committee (with six exhibits), which were made available in June and July.
It is reasonable to say that the abuses of authority and the abuses of Water Code
staff must come to an immediate stop, and the Water Code restored to administrative
health. Both Mr. Tariq and Mr. Benally should now be prohibited from any control
over the Water Code Administration. In fact, the Council might consider making the
Water Code Administration, which is a purely regulatory agency, a separate entity the
way it did the Navajo Nation's EPA, another purely regulatory agency. This would
avoid the obvious conflict of interest where DWR is self-regulating, with the Water
Code Administration being tied to and crippled by the self-serving department leaders.
It is also reasonable to suggest that appropriate investigations be made into
existing allegations relating to (1) the unlawful merger and revenue fund takeover and
(2) other serious allegations, that may require law enforcement investigations.
Finally, in light of the above and other concerns about the Department of Water
Resources, I think it is obvious that a multi-year programmatic audit of the Department
is not only reasonable but necessary to re-assure the Navajo People of the soundness of
that important department of their government.
Initiating A Rapid Retirement Process
I am on administrative leave through July 31 st.
I have therefore established August 1 st as my retirement date with the Navajo
Nation Retirement Office.
I thank the Honorable Committee Members for their time, patience, and
understanding, and have authorized Dr. Utter to answer questions on my behalf.

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