Suspended Navajo Chairman Peter MacDonald was sentenced in tribal court Monday to nearly six years in the tribal jail and fined $11,000 for bribery, conspiracy and ethics violations.
Judge Robert Yazzie sentenced MacDonald to five years and 335 days in jail and four years and 340 days of labor, similar to community service, which would be done after his jail term.MacDonald, 61, who has sought re-election, was convicted Wednesday of 41 of the 42 counts on which he was tried. A jury found him guilty of asking for and receiving cash payments, loans, plane rides and use of an automobile from businessmen trying to gain favor with his administration.
His son, Peter "Rocky" MacDonald Jr., 36, was convicted of 23 counts of bribery, theft by extortion, ethics violations and conspiracy.
He received 1 1/2 years in jail, one year of labor and $2,500 in fines.
Yazzie consolidated the counts in his sentencing.
The elder MacDonald will remain in the tribal jail for at least a week until a judge rules if he can be released on bail or his own recognizance pending an appeal.
"You have not admitted to any wrongdoing and shown no remorse," Yazzie said.
MacDonald said he had nothing to add to the presentencing report submitted to the court, but defense attorney Val Jolley of Farmington, N.M., argued for a suspended sentence, noting that MacDonald had served for most of his adult life in tribal government and had no criminal record.
"There is no greater punishment than what the law has imposed, that he cannot be involved in politics for a period of time," Jolley said.
Tribal election law states that a person who is convicted of ethics violations may not hold tribal office for four years.