The Omaha Tribe's fuel plaza on its reservation in Nebraska was underwater in the summer of 2011 due to flooding along the Missouri River. Photo: Omaha Tribe
Environment | National

Omaha Tribe 'mismanaged' nearly $14 million in funds after disastrous flooding




The Omaha Tribe has been cut off by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after an audit found major problems with its handling of disaster funds.

The tribe received $16.9 million following disastrous flooding along the Missouri River in the summer of 2011. Nearly all of that amount was "mismanaged," according to a November 30 report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.

"The problems we found at the Omaha Tribe were serious and pervasive," a summary of the report reads. "Therefore, FEMA Region VII should not provide any additional funds to the Omaha Tribe until FEMA can confirm that the tribe actually performed the FEMA-authorized work at a reasonable price."

FEMA agreed with the recommendation and told the tribe last summer that it will no longer receive federal disaster funds pending additional review. Overall, nearly $14 million is in question, according to the report.

Chairman Michael Wolfe, who took office earlier this year, told The Omaha World-Herald that he hadn't seen the audit. The paper was the first to report on the document.

The 2011 disaster caused widespread damage in Nebraska, according to FEMA.

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Omaha Tribe mismanaged $13.9 million in federal flood-assistance grants, audit finds