Several senior Navajo tribal officials were notified Monday they have been fired.

Those receiving termination notices were Public Safety Director Phil Bluehouse; Press Officer Lenora Begay; and Laverne Yazzie, division director for Health and Social Services.All three were political appointees of interim President Leonard Haskie, who lost this month's presidential election to former Chairman Peterson Zah. Haskie remains in office until Zah's inauguration in January.

The termination notices were signed by James Ashike, Haskie's chief of staff.

Ashike declined to comment on the reasons for Begay's termination, saying only, "It's in the letter."

He later was said to be in a meeting and unavailable for comment on the other firings.

Begay said she received her notice of termination in a letter dated Nov. 21. She said the letter stated she was being terminated as of 5 p.m. Nov. 21.

Her termination letter noted she served at the pleasure of the president, but Begay said no specific reason was given for her dismissal.

"I believe the reason I was fired was because I was one of the staffers who did not go out and publicly support Mr. Haskie during the election campaign," she said.

Begay, who joined Haskie's staff in May 1989, said she was "quite relieved" by being fired.

"It was becoming very difficult to work with this administration and defend some of the actions they were taking," she said as she cleaned out her desk Monday.