Navajo chairman Peter MacDonald, suspended since February 1989 for allegedly sharing the $7.2 million profit in a land deal involving tribal funds and for taking other bribes, has no income other than his $55,000-a-year salary, his wife says.
"We have absolutely no income except for his check," Wanda MacDonald said about MacDonald's financial-disclosure form for income from private businesses. The 61-year-old, fourth-term chairman is one of 14 candidates for the new position of tribal president.MacDonald reported no business income since January. Mrs. MacDonald said his only other income was small contributions from supporters for campaign travel expenses.
As for the $150,000 needed for an attorney to represent MacDonald in three upcoming trials, Mrs. MacDonald said that local Navajos cannot raise that kind of money.
The tribe released the disclosure forms of the presidential candidates Wednesday. Among them were forms for interim chairman Leonard Haskie, whom the Tribal Council appointed March 10, 1989, to act in MacDonald's place until January, and Albuquerque, N.M., businessman Laurence Manuelito.
Haskie's disclosure form was one of seven coded for more information needed by the tribe's ethics office. It shows $10,000 to $15,000 in livestock sales annually from Haskie Ranching of Sanostee, N.M., and a $428 monthly tribal payroll deduction for a mortgage loan on a Flagstaff home.
Haskie reported service on two school boards but no active business as a professional engineer since the day he took office. He acknowledged not having filed his 1990 income taxes but predicted that the Internal Revenue Service statement would not differ significantly.
The income of Haskie's wife, Jeanne, a school principal, was listed at $41,000.
Manuelito said he continues to serve as a consultant to Chuska Energy Co., an oil-and-gas-exploration company he sold to non-Indian businessmen in 1988.
Manuelito has been criticized for failing to inform the Tribal Council of the sale, which included an operating lease to explore 254,000 acres of tribal land. Manuelito has not revealed the profits of the sale, believed by Navajo officials to be millions.