Judge rules San Juan Co. commissioner is a resident of Utah

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 23:06:47-05

A judge has ruled newly-elected San Juan County Commissioner Willie Grayeyes does indeed live in Utah, ending a lawsuit brought by his Republican challenger.

In a ruling handed down Tuesday night, 7th District Court Judge Don Torgeson rejected Kelly Laws’ arguments that Grayeyes did not live in Utah. Instead, the judge said he believed Grayeyes did live in San Juan County.

“The evidence produced at trial was not credibly refuted by Petitioner,” the judge wrote. “According to the testimony, Grayeyes spends approximately 60%-80% of his time on Navajo Mountain. He often stays with his sister, Rose, and at his daughter April’s cabin. He also spends time with a girlfriend in Tuba City, AZ and he spends a lot of his time traveling. It is apparent that Grayeyes spends more time at Navajo Mountain than he does anywhere else.”

This is the second challenge to Grayeyes’ residency. A federal judge ordered him placed back on the ballot after the San Juan County Clerk removed him over questions about his residency.

Grayeyes was elected to office in an election ordered by a federal judge who found racial gerrymandering in county commission and school board boundaries. Native Americans make up a majority of the population in San Juan County, but were a political minority.

Read the judge’s ruling here (refresh the page if it doesn’t immediately load):