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Judge sets briefings schedule on Navajo legislative leader's challenge to placing him on leave

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WINDOW ROCK, Arizona — A Navajo Nation judge has asked attorneys to more fully develop arguments in a case that stems from the tribe's legislative leader being placed on leave.

Johnny Naize is challenging a vote by lawmakers to strip him of his administrative duties. The vote came months after Naize was charged with bribery and conspiracy in a criminal case. He has pleaded not guilty.

Naize contends the vote was invalid and that he was denied due process.

Window Rock District Court Judge Carol Perry requested the additional briefings Tuesday. A day earlier, she denied Naize's request for a temporary restraining order that would have put him back at the helm of the legislative branch.

The tribe's Department of Justice is representing the Tribal Council.

The next hearing is scheduled April 16.

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