Judge dismisses second case challenging Hopi chairman’s post
KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. (AP) — A Hopi Tribal Court judge has dismissed a second case that alleged the tribal chairman was improperly seated.
Timothy Nuvangyaoma (new-VONG’-yow-mah) was sworn in as chairman in December.
His immediate predecessor alleged he wasn’t qualified to seek the post because Nuvangyaoma had been convicted of felony drunken driving within 10 years of declaring candidacy in violation of the tribal constitution.
Herman Honanie appealed what he considered a decision by the election board to certify Nuvangyaoma’s candidacy.
But Judge Jeremy Brave-Heart says the letter Honanie relied on wasn’t a decision and couldn’t be appealed. It was a response letter.
He says Honanie missed the opportunity to challenge the certification and dismissed the case with prejudice.
Honanie’s attorney said Wednesday he hasn’t reviewed the ruling.
The election board’s attorney says it’s well-reasoned.