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Former Interim Navajo Nation President And New Mexico Lawmaker, Thomas Atcitty, Dies at 86

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AP Photo/Rick Browne, File
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Thomas Atcitty, a former interim Navajo Nation president and longtime New Mexico state representative, has died.

The tribe says Atcitty died Sunday of natural causes. He was 86. Funeral services are scheduled Wednesday in Shiprock, New Mexico, where Atcitty lived most of his life. He is being remembered for his leadership and compassion for Navajos. Atcitty served as the tribe's vice president from 1995 to 1998. He was elevated to the top post after then-Navajo President Albert Hale resigned rather than face allegations he abused a tribal credit card. Atcitty served only months in the role before the Navajo Nation Council removed him from office for ethics violations, including accepting gifts and golf games from companies doing business with the tribe. Atcitty also served as the Vice President and President of Navajo Community College, now Dine' College. 

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