The Vice Chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Keith Moses, has resigned. In an online video, he talked about the joys of seeing the progress CRIT has made over the past few years.
Moses first took office in 2015 after many years in other local roles. During his time as Vice Chairman, the tribal council explored and implemented new ways of using the Tribe’s senior water rights to help relieve the state of Arizona drought, among other things, and to bolster the Tribe’s revenues and bring more money to the area.
Moses said he had been stopped for DUI in 2019, and believed at the time that he would be “out of office” as a result, but shortly afterwards the pandemic changed everything. Now that his legal case is in the disposition stage, he believes it is time to step down.
“I did submit my resignation, effective Monday, July 19th at 5pm,” he said.
Moses said the current and prior tribal councils had done their due diligence but the court system was shut down due to the pandemic, which slowed the resolution of his case.
“Tribal council made the decision to wait until the disposition of my case, but they didn’t know the pandemic was coming, they didn’t know all these things were going to happen in the world, and that delayed it,” he said. “No-one is above the law and I’m not, I never thought I was. It’s my fault. Actions have consequences. It doesn’t matter what you improved, or are trying to do better, which I am. I am a year and 6 months sober. I always just want to look for better things in my life.”
Moses said he doesn’t want to hinder the current tribal council from doing their important work. In the past year alone, the council has seen significant change. The death in April of long-time CRIT leader Johnny Hill Jr. opened up a council seat that Hill had held since 2008. Before that, Amelia Flores won election as Chairwoman last December, taking over the seat from former Chairman Dennis Patch.
“It’s just my time, and everyone will continue to move on,” he said, taking some extra time to correct the record on the statements of a group that he says are attempting yet another recall effort on tribal council members, the fifth in just a few short years, and which he says are complete falsehoods.
Despite the false statements, Moses said all tribal members deserve to have a voice, and that it is important to question leaders and ensure that the correct information reaches as many as possible.
“It has been my greatest joy to serve, it’s been my greatest joy to see completions of projects that when they started, you didn’t know if they would see completion,” he said. “I appreciate all my friends, I appreciate especially my family who always stayed by me, always encouraged me.”
Moses finished by reminding people that the pandemic is still happening, saying, “I had COVID and I’m still recovering from it 6 or 7 months later. It affects the rest of your life. So stay safe everybody. And again remember, we all need to work together. We all need to uphold each other.”
He said he would probably take some time off before deciding what to do next.
Tribal council posted a message of support and thanks to Moses on the CRIT Facebook page, saying:
“It is with respect that we accept the resignation of Vice Chairman Keith Moses effective July 20, 2021. Keith Moses has been a tireless public servant and his dedication to the greater good of CRIT and its members over the seven years has never wavered. We are grateful for Keith’s service, especially during the pandemic. Please join us in thanking him for all he has done for CRIT and keep him your prayers.”