The Ramah Chapter in New Mexico. Photo: Ramah Navajo Chapter Office of Grants and Contracts
Navajo Nation accuses leader of misusing Ramah settlement funds
A leader on the Navajo Nation is being accused of misusing funds from the landmark Ramah contract support costs settlement.

The Ramah Chapter was the lead plaintiff in the case. It resulted in a $947 million settlement for the underpayment of self-determination contracts at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Of that amount, more than $7.8 million went to Ramah and another $1.6 million went to the Ramah school board, according to settlement documents. That's when things started to get ugly, The Navajo Times reported.

According to the paper, David Jose, the president of the chapter, “continuously harassed” an employee in order to get the funds released to him. Apparently, his bullying worked, because the tribe says he took $6 million from the settlement and invested it without authorization.

In the process, he lost more than $1 million, the paper reported. He is now facing numerous complaints before the Navajo Nation Ethics and Rules Office, which is trying to get him to pay back the missing funds, The Times said.

The Ramah settlement was shared among 699 tribes and tribal entities who weren't paid the full amount for their contracts. After attorney fees and other costs were taken into account, some $862 million went to Indian Country.

The Ramah Chapter is located in New Mexico. It is part of the Navajo Nation but is not contiguous to the main reservation.

Read More on the Story:
Tribe: Ramah Chapter prez lost $1.07 million investment (The Navajo Times March 8, 2018)

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