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Saginaw Chippewa Tribe wonders where $14M went
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The new leadership of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan is still trying to figure out where $14 million in lobbying and public relations fees went.

The tribe had contracts with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his close associate, public relations executive Michael Scanlon. But after internal reports questioned whether the high fees paid to both were justified, the tribe ended the costly relationship.

The pair were hired to lobby for the tribe at the federal and state level. But tribal leaders said they never saw any benefits. "No one seems to know what our money was being spent on," sub-chief Bernie Sprague tells The Detroit Free Press. One issue the tribe was concerned about, a bid to allow video gaming at racetracks, is still alive and kicking.

The high fees paid to Abramoff and Scanlon are the subject of an ongoing investigation by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Hearings before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee are expected in late spring or early summer.

Get the Story:
Tribe's big spending questioned (The Detroit Free Press 4/20)

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