Judge: Clerk falsified complaint against Navajo candidate

Judge: Clerk falsified complaint against Navajo candidate

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A judge who ordered a Utah county to put a Navajo man back on the ballot says the county clerk violated state statute and overstepped his role in handling the complaint about the man’s residency.

U.S. District Judge David Nuffer’s said in his written decision filed Thursday night after he announced his decision in a hearing Tuesday that Democrat Willie Grayeyes’ due process was violated when San Juan County Clerk John Nielson falsified the complaint by improperly backdating it to “make a backdoor challenge.”

Nielson declined comment, but his attorney Blake Hamilton acknowledged the backdating was a “serious lapse in judgment” but says it “had no outcome on the residency challenge.”

Grayeyes sued after he was disqualified as candidate for county commission when county officials determined he didn’t live in the district.

Judge Nuffer didn’t rule on the residency question.