Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – More than 20 acequia and community ditch groups have filed a motion seeking to overturn a major ruling by retired New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge James Wechsler on Navajo Nation water rights. The motion says that Wechsler failed to disclose that he had worked years ago as an attorney for what the motion contends is a tribal entity.
An attorney for the Navajo Nation called the motion ridiculous. Wechsler worked for a nonprofit legal services agency that serves individuals and often sues the Navajo government on their behalf, not the government itself, said attorney Stanley Pollack.
The motion filed Monday at the Court of Appeals seeks to overturn Wechsler’s decision in 2013 approving an agreement between the Navajo Nation and New Mexico state government settling Navajo water rights claims on the San Juan River in northwest New Mexico.