Friday, February 03, 2006

Interior Department Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

This falls in the realm of the unbelievable.

Short version: Indians sue the U.S. Government for mismanagment of funds. It seems the government mishandled over $100 billion in lost royalties from Indian land. The Tribes are settling for about a quarter of that amount, but they wanted the government to cover the $7 million in attorney's fees. The Interior Department took the $7 million straight back out of the Indians pockets.

The Associated Press writes:

Jim Cason, associate deputy interior secretary, said the cuts will include $2 million from a fund for lawyers performing tribal work and $1 million from Bureau of Indian Affairs' central and regional offices and some tribal programs. The decision won't affect schools or public safety.

The lead plaintiff says the department knew they would have to cover attorney's fees and should have planned for this expense.

I found this is The Charlotte Observer.


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