BIA ordered to pay $400K to former police officer
A former Bureau of Indian Affairs officer won a $400,000 judgment against the agency for malicious prosecution

Judge Justin Quackenbush said the BIA fired Duane Garvais because he investigated allegations of police corruption within the Spokane Tribe of Washington. The judge said Garvais was the victim of retaliation.

“The BIA maliciously caused the institution and continuation of unfounded criminal proceedings against Duane Garvais in Spokane Tribal Court in retaliation for the proper performance of his duties in investigating thefts by BIA patrol officers with close connections to the Tribe,” Quackenbush said in the decision.

The BIA said it fired Garvais because he claimed Indian preference when he wasn't a member of a federally-recognized tribe. He has Colville blood but is not enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington.

Get the Story:
Former agent wins judgment against BIA (The Spokesman Review 2/19)

Court Decision:
Garvais v. US (February 17, 2010)

Related Stories:
Judge allows suit by fired BIA agent in 'Indian' case (6/15)
Federal courts try to decide who is legally Indian (8/24)
Judge denies tribal jurisdiction over Indian descendant (12/8)
Federal judge to hold hearing on man's 'Indian' status (05/20)
BIA agent put on leave alleges retaliation (01/19)