Navajo Nation President, Council Dispute Approval of Remington Bid
Shortly after a New York Times columnist reported on Navajo Nation’s bid to buy gun manufacturer Remington, President Russell Begaye said the offer was made without his office’s approval.
The report revealed a rejected bid for up to $525 million that Begaye alleges was made by a select group of members on the Navajo Nation Council. He did not specify names in a statement.
However, statements from three Navajo Nation Council members challenged Begaye’s claim. Speaker LoRenzo Bates said the discussion was brought to the attention of other offices under the executive branch and that the accusations are misguided.
“Whether or not his staff communicated with him is not the problem of the Council,” Bates said in a statement Wednesday. “It is a problem within his own office.”
Council delegates Seth Damon and Leonard Tsosie said the bid was made on the urgency of job creation, with the latter criticizing the Begaye Administration as having “no economic development plan.”
Begaye responded Thursday in another statement, saying those involved “should have enough integrity to admit that they made a mistake.”
Navajo Nation wanted to turn Remington from consumer business and focus on contracts with police and defense departments. The tribe also intended to reduce sales of weapons similar to the AR-15.
In their rejection, Remington said more time was needed to restructure after emerging from bankruptcy earlier this year.