FROM THE ARCHIVE

Deposition and hearing in trust fund case

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2002

Deputy assistant secretary Aurene Martin is undergoing questioning today about her knowledge of destruction of e-mails by her boss Neal McCaleb.

McCaleb admitted he didn't follow proper procedure to preserve his electronic communications, a move that could bring court sanctions. Martin's testimony could provide further insight into the incident.

Earlier this week, Jean Maybee, a staff assistant, gave a deposition on the matter. She provided testimony that appeared to refute some of McCaleb's claims, attorneys in the case said.

Martin served as McCaleb's legal counsel when the e-mail destruction started in November 2001. She was promoted to deputy this past May.

Also today is a court hearing to address an attempt by the Bush administration to delay questioning of other Department of Interior officials. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth has to decide whether to force acting Special Trustee Donna Erwin and Office of Historical Trust Accounting Director Bert Edwards to testify before January.

Attorneys for the Indian account holders want to question Erwin and Edwards before the department submits its trust reform plans to the court next month. Government attorneys say the pair are too busy working on those plans to testify.

The deposition takes place at 10 a.m. It is closed to the public. The hearing, at 3 p.m. in the federal district courthouse in Washington, D.C., is open.

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
Trust Reform, NCAI - http://www.ncai.org/main/pages/
issues/other_issues/trust_reform.asp

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