fbpx
 

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Controller Pearline Kirk was removed on Wednesday, May 19, by the Navajo Nation Council due to  irregularities concerning contracts between the Office of the Controller (OOC) and Agile Technologies found regarding unlawful Covid-19 testing on the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Nation Council’s removal of  Kirk came after two days of deliberation totaling 12 hours of discussion. Kirk was appointed as controller in February 2017 by President Russell Begaye. As controller Kirk made $225,014 annually. 

“With the American Rescue Plan Act Funds coming, we need to make sure we perform our due diligence in ensuring the people’s money is spent in an ethical manner from the top to the bottom,” Speaker Seth Damon said. “It is unfortunate that we have to make these hard decisions, but the people’s safety is our number one priority.”

The action comes following an investigation by the Navajo Nation Department of Justice of a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act Funds contract between the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller and Agile Technologies that revealed Agile was paid over $3 million in advance to provide Covid-19 testing using methods not approved for use on the Navajo Nation.

Additionally, Agile did not report their test results to tribal health authorities, did not provide contact tracing, and failed to protect personal health information with their test samples.

“Through all of this, I have lost confidence in her and I have many reasons in addition to the light Attorney General [Doreen McPaul] has shed on this,” Navajo Nation Council Delegate Pernell Halona said. “She serves at the pleasure of the Navajo Nation Council, and we don’t need to provide any discretion.”

Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen McPaul and Chief Legislative Council Dana Bobroff provided updates on new developments regarding the criminal charges filed by the Navajo Nation Department of Justice against Kirk before the final vote. 

The final vote was 13 in favor and 10 opposed to remove Kirk from her position as the Controller of the Navajo Nation. 

The Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President appoints the controller and the Navajo Nation Council has the power to remove. The Council now awaits the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President’s recommendation for the appointment of a new Controller.

More Stories Like This

Indian Country Praises Interior Sec. Haaland’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative
Interior Sec. Haaland Announces Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to Shed Light on the Dark History of the Boarding School System
Leonard Peltier Freedom Ride Arrives in Washington, D.C., Raises Awareness for His Release
Sec. Deb Haaland to Announce Next Steps to Address Legacy of Indian Boarding Schools
Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. Sharice Davids Meet to Discuss Priorities for Congressional Native American Caucus

While you're here...

We launched Native News Online with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Typically, readers donate $20, but any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi Rickert
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. He can be reached at [email protected]