Former Navajo Nation lawmakers avoid trial in criminal case by entering no-contest pleas



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WINDOW ROCK, Arizona — Two former Navajo Nation lawmakers have pleaded no contest in a criminal case, avoiding a trial on charges that they used their positions to enrich their families financially.

Jack Colorado and Harry Clark signed plea agreements with prosecutors Monday, the same day jury selection was to begin.

The men entered pleas to a single count each of eroding Navajos' confidence in the integrity of their government — the lessor offense of conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors will drop six counts of bribery against each of the men after sentencing, which hasn't been set.

They face jail time and probation.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgement that prosecutors have enough evidence to secure a conviction.

Prosecutors say Clark and Colorado funneled a combined $39,000 in tribal funds to their families.

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