Kayenta Health Center employee indicted

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PHOENIX -- Authorities say a Kayenta Health Center emergency room employee has been indicted by a federal grand jury for accepting a bribe.

Prosecutors announced Friday that Ella Babbitt has been charged with one felony count of receiving a bribe by a public official and has been served with a summons to appear Wednesday in federal court in Phoenix for arraignment.

Prosecutors say a conviction in the case is punishable by up to 15 years in federal prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

The 46-year-old Babbitt worked as a medical support assistant at the Indian Health Services' Kayenta Health Center on the Navajo Nation.

The indictment says an investigation was launched in February into allegations of possible bribery and kickbacks being paid in connection with medical air transport from the Indian Health Services facility at Kayenta.

Authorities say AeroCare Medical Transport cooperated with federal investigators and conversations between an AeroCare employee and Babbitt were monitored and recorded.

The indictment alleges that on May 13, Babbitt accepted $6,000 for directing medical air transport business to AeroCare.

An official with AeroCare says the company is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Calls to Babbitt seeking comment on the indictment were not immediately returned Saturday.

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