A Navajo Nation judge has upheld a decision by tribal lawmakers to place their leader on administrative leave.
The Navajo Nation Council stripped Speaker Johnny Naize of his administrative duties months after he was charged in a criminal case. Naize has pleaded not guilty.
Naize challenged his colleagues' decision, saying it was invalid and denied him due process.
Window Rock District Judge Carol Perry disagreed. She wrote in an order Friday that due process was afforded when the council discussed a bill to remove Naize from his post in executive session. It was amended to place him on paid administrative leave.
Naize retains his seat as a delegate on the Tribal Council, representing parts of Arizona.
Perry's decision can be appealed to the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.
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