The president is about to enter rehab for alcoholism

By Donovan Quintero, Krista Allen and Quentin Jodie
Navajo Time

WINDOW ROCK

Seth Damon’s future is up in the air.

The troubled speaker from the 24th Council of the Navajo Nation, who admitted to the Council that he was photographed under the influence of alcohol during the Indian National Rodeo final, which took place from October 18-22, has said Tuesday afternoon during an interview with the Navajo Of times he “really screwed up” after drinking a little too much.

“The only reason I’m here is to hear it from the horse’s mouth rather than somewhere else, isn’t it?” Damon said Tuesday at his Window Rock office.

A photo of Damon has gone viral on social media, depicting him drunk and sitting in front of a casino slot machine in Las Vegas, Nevada. The person who took a photo remains unknown.

In a statement, Damon said he was not on tribal business in Las Vegas. His colleague, council delegate Otto Tso, said in an interview with the Navajo Times on Wednesday, said he was in Vegas to attend a meeting with the Navajo Community Development Financial Institution, whose then-president , Russell Begaye, has earmarked $20 million to provide a financial catalyst to support entrepreneurs looking to start a business on the reservation.

Navajo CDFI would provide a source of financing for businesses owned by qualified Navajos. Otto Tso said he attended a meeting with NCDFI, council delegate Eugene Tso, Wilson Stewart Jr. and NCFDI officials. Otto Tso said Eugene Tso left for San Diego, Calif., to attend another meeting right after having dinner at the Virgin Hotels Casino, located 9.2 miles from South Point.

Eugene Tso corroborated Otto Tso’s recollection of the October 22 meeting with NCDFI at the South Point Casino. The delegate added that the speaker was also present at the meeting.

Damon has said many times, and during an interview with the Navajo Times on Tuesday, he visited the INFR on his own time.

Eugene Tso said he parked his vehicle at the South Point Casino, where he left it for dinner at another location. Otto Tso said they dined at the Virgin Hotels Casino. After dinner, Eugene Tso said he was taken back to South Point in a cab and left for San Diego.

Otto Tso stammered and said he saw Damon around 4 p.m. at South Point. The Navajo Times asked Otto Tso if he noticed if Damon was drunk, and he said he “looked drunk to me”. He was asked to clarify his comment as to whether he saw Damon drunk or not.

“I don’t think he looked drunk,” Otto Tso replied.

Damon said he was at the South Point Hotel Casino when the photo was taken of him on October 22.

The candidate and current representative of the Bááhááli, Chéch’iltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs and Tsayatoh chapters, said he arrived at the casino on October 22 and was “hanging around”.

“I just want to be honest and say that I was out there with friends and family and got to a point where I think I drank too much alcohol,” Damon said.

Damon said he took the “necessary steps” and “admitted” his misconduct and told members of the 24th Council of the Navajo Nation. He added that one of the things he wanted to do was make sure he would be held accountable for his actions, referring to his public drunkenness.

While Damon may not have broken any laws in Las Vegas or the state of Nevada, he admits that he “broke the integrity of the President’s office.”

A seven-page bill was introduced last Friday that will put the president on administrative leave indefinitely if it passes a majority. The bill is eligible for action today or tomorrow.

“Personally, that’s where I know I’ve done it. And I recognized that, and I told them that,” he said of his meeting with the Council.

Whether the Council votes to remove him or not, the speaker said the days following the October 22 incident were the worst for him.

“Last week was the worst. More importantly, it was the worst for my daughter and my grandparents. I know it broke their hearts,” Damon said.

Damon explained that he went to Vegas to visit family, support his nephews and INFR athletes, and catch up with friends.

The Council’s three-term delegate didn’t go into too much detail, other than that he drank too much.

Damon got emotional when he said his grandparents talked to him. He wouldn’t divulge what they said, but it cracked his voice.

“It broke me. It literally broke me,” he said, tapping his fingers on the table in his office, thinking about what they had told him.

“I know I screwed up. I know I really screwed up, but I’m going to do this to help myself and the people who elected me, and most importantly, I’m going to get my integrity back. grandparents for the better,” Damon said emotionally.

The distressed speaker said he wanted to make it a “stepping stone” and use it to move in the “right direction”.

“I want to see live to see my granddaughter graduate from high school,” he said.

He apologized and wanted to tell the Navajo people that he was “very sorry” for breaking the integrity of the office.

While seeking help, Damon learned about the challenges of not knowing who to call when seeking help for his drinking problem.

“I must say this is one of the worst…you don’t know where to call. I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to get help,” he said of what he learned.

Eventually, Damon said he had logged into the correct office and would be going to a treatment center by Saturday or Monday. Though he doesn’t know where his treatment might take him, Damon is forced to find out if a life without alcohol is in his future.

“I can tell you I have a problem, but that’s what I think I’ll find out. I think that’s what I need to find out. Why am I like this? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I put myself in this situation? I think those are the answers I will find along this path,” he said.

The reality of knowing your path to healing has no end. He said his recovery would be a “long road” for him and his family.

Damon is up for re-election and will most likely be in a rehabilitation center on Nov. 8 when voters vote for him.

Stewart did not respond to a request for an interview at press time Wednesday night.


About Rhonda Lee

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