The Navajo high court dismissed an attempt by embattled tribal chairman Peter MacDonald to overturn his suspension over kickback allegations.
Thursday's decision by the tribal Supreme Court apparently clears the way for the Navajo Tribal Council to appoint an interim replacement for MacDonald.MacDonald has been under fire since witnesses, including his son, told a U.S. Senate select committee that he had taken kickbacks and bribes from companies wanting to do business with the tribe.
MacDonald has denied any wrongdoing.
In a lawsuit, MacDonald sought to have the council's decision to place him on leave declared illegal.
He first brought the lawsuit to Kayenta tribal district Judge Harry Brown, his brother-in-law, who issued a temporary restraining order to stop the suspension.
But the tribal Supreme Court said that MacDonald filed the suit in the wrong court, that the brother-in-law judge should have disqualified himself, and that the council cannot be sued for its actions as a legislative body.