Wife of Navajo Nation lawmaker sent to jail on contempt charge

Delegate Mel R. Begay represents the Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs, Naschitti, Tohatchi, Bahastl'a'a chapters on the Navajo Nation Council. Photo from Navajo Nation Council / Facebook

The wife of a Navajo Nation Council delegate has been jailed since Monday on a contempt of court charge.

Invoking spousal privilege, Mitzie Begay has repeatedly refused to answer questions about an ongoing case involving her husband, Delegate Mel R. Begay, The Farmington Daily-Times reported. So a tribal judge sent her to jail on Monday, the paper said.

Mitzie Begay has since filed a petition for release with the Navajo Nation Supreme Court. A hearing is set to take place on Friday, the Daily-Times reported.

“We are confident that the Navajo Nation Supreme Court will determine that the government cannot force a spouse to testify against his/her spouse about their private communications because it is not right and it is not consistent with Navajo laws and traditions,” Mel Begay said in a statement to the paper.

The case against Mel Begay is part of a long-running investigation into the use of discretionary funds by current and former delegates to the council. He's accused of using more than $30,000 to benefit his relatives, the Daily-Times reported.

Get the Story:
Council delegate's wife requests jail release (The Farmington Daily-Times 3/10)
Delegate's wife found in contempt of court (The Farmington Daily-Times 3/8)

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