Court: McCaleb 'fabricated' e-mail story

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Court: McCaleb 'fabricated' e-mail story
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2003

Former Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb "fabricated" a story to coverup his failure to preserve trust-related documents, a court investigator wrote today in a scathing report.

Special master Alan Balaran released a 54-page report that documented McCaleb already admitted was a "misunderstanding." But Balaran said the situation went further than that, accusing the former Bush administration official of flagrant disregard for the truth.

"[N]ot only did the former Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs delete individual Indian trust records in derogation of a myriad of legal and trust principles but, when his actions came to light, fabricated a story that attempted to blame others for his misdeeds," Balaran wrote. "Simply stated, McCaleb proved to be as complacent with the truth as he was with his fiduciary responsibilities."

Balaran's report comes after a more than month-long investigation into McCaleb's revelation that he deleted his e-mail correspondence despite court orders against doing so and in contravention to Bureau of Indian Affairs and Department of Interior policy. From December 2001 to October 2002, he erased trust-related documents but when asked to explain, he assigned blame to an administrative assistant.

A department spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on the report.

Reached at his Washington, D.C., office this evening, a private attorney for McCaleb said he he hadn't seen the report. Michael Rauh, of the law firm of Mannatt, Phelps & Phillips, specializes in white-collar crimes and was hired by McCaleb as part of the trust fund litigation.

Get the Report:
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL MASTER REGARDING THE DELETION OF INDIVIDUAL INDIAN TRUST INFORMATION BY FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY-INDIAN AFFAIRS NEAL MCCALEB (January 24, 2003)

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

Related Stories:
Martin read about deposition online (12/23)
BIA aides circumventing court (12/16)
Martin's role in incident surfaces (12/16)
McCaleb to go before investigator again (12/16)
McCaleb won't undergo more questioning (12/17)
BIA aides e-mail use prompts inquiry (12/17)
McCaleb aides circumventing court (12/16)
Martin's role in incident surfaces (12/16)
McCaleb to go before investigator again (12/16)
Deposition and hearing on trust fund (12/13)
McCaleb e-mail probe widens (12/11)
McCaleb aide ordered to testify (12/9)
McCaleb being deposed on e-mails (12/6)
Interior's casualties of war (11/25)
McCaleb resigning from BIA (11/22)
17 months at arm's length (11/22)
Court cites 'troubling record' at Interior (11/14)
McCaleb admits to e-mail 'misunderstanding' (10/23)
Interior admits to more destruction of e-mails (10/22)
Probe raises more questions than answers (08/07)
DOI investigation released (8/7)
No one to punish for destroyed e-mails (4/10)
Request for trust fund probe rejected (11/7)
Internal trust fund investigation sought (8/22)

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