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Y-A Nation council holds special election

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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The Yavapai-Apache Nation is gearing up to hold special a election Saturday, Jan. 7, to fill a vacant seat on the Tribal Council.

Tribal Councilwoman Linda Evans was removed from her seat in April after the rest of the nine-member governing body voted unanimously.

The reason given was Evans was guilty of "gross neglect of duty or gross misconduct" under the Yavapai-Apache Nation Constitution.

The election to fill the seat has been delayed while Evans tried to appeal her ejection in the tribal court.

Evans argued she was not guilty of any misconduct and her summary removal from the council was a violation of her right to due process as provided for in the tribal constitution.

Evans' legal battle ended Oct. 31 when the Nation's court of appeals ruled her case had no standing to be eligible for review by the court, in a ruling signed by Associate Justice Mary Guss and Chief Justice Cynthia Burnett.

Specifically, the court found there were no errors of law or fact at issue in the case, therefore the court had no grounds to review the matter.

The ruling meant the election board was clear to schedule the special election, said Fran Chavez, public relations director for the Nation.

Three candidates are vying to fill the empty seat, including Evans herself, as there is no rule or law preventing her from attempting1 to regain her old seat.

The other candidates include Dennis Sine and Harry Hood, both of whom have served on the tribal council in the past.

The winner will serve the remainder of Evans' three-year term through the next general election in September, Election Board Chief Judge Suzette Dawdy said.

Three polling stations will be open across the Verde Valley on election day on the Nation's lands, including:

The Yavapai-Apache Nation Utility Authority building in Camp Verde, formerly the old tribal housing building.

The Yavapai-Apache Nation Social Services building on the Middle Verde reservation.

The community center on the Clarkdale reservation.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Chavez said the Nation also sends out several absentee ballots for the benefit of several Nation voters who live elsewhere.

For questions or additional information about the election, call the Yavapai-Apache Nation Election Board office at 567-1078.

Original Publication Date: December 21, 2011

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