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Ex-Navajo Lawmaker Sentenced To Jail Time

A former Navajo Nation lawmaker convicted in a scheme to divert tribal funds to his children has been sentenced to three years in jail.

Mel Begay was taken into custody immediately following Tuesday's hearing in Window Rock District Court.

His sentence also included nearly $38,000 in fines and restitution and 1,000 hours of community service.

A jury convicted Begay earlier this year on 10 criminal counts in an investigation into the Navajo Nation Council's use of a now-defunct discretionary fund.

He's the only Navajo official to go on trial in any of the criminal and ethics cases.

Begay plans to appeal his conviction and ask the courts to release him from jail until the tribe's Supreme Court rules on the challenge.

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