NCAI's Hall wants trust records protected
Facebook Twitter Email

National Congress of American Indians President Tex Hall made an urgent request on Tuesday night to protect Indian trust records from potential destruction by convicted accounting firm Arthur Andersen.

Due to its federal conviction of obstruction of justice, the company plans to shut down its auditing business and eliminate any records it may possess. In response, Hall asked Secretary of Interior Gale Norton last night to ensure that trust documents won't be destroyed.

The company was hired by the Interior to perform work affecting members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California. The goal was to provide an historical accounting.

The company also was enlisted for two other projects. One involved high-dollar transactions totaling more than $1.5 billion in trust fund and another involved verification of Indian beneficiaries who might be owed money.

Office of Historical Trust Accounting Director Bert T. Edwards warned last month that Andersen's then-pending trial could affect the work. He wrote in a status report that "the completion of the Andersen projects may also be impaired if transferred businesses have conflicts in the Cobell v. Norton litigation or Andersen ceases business."

Norton did not respond to Hall's request, which he asked to be put on the record.

Hall also expressed surprise about the Bush administration's attempt to remove court monitor Joseph S. Kieffer III. He asked Norton to address his concerns but she did not.

Today on Indianz.Com:
Norton confronted with skeptics (6/19)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Trust Reform, NCAI -

Related Stories:
Deadline nears for trust fund accounting plan (5/7)
Interior rebuffed on historical accounting (4/24)
Trust accounting looms for tribes (3/20)
Bush administration bets on accounting (3/18)
Interior considering a limited trust fund (3/15)
Norton: No 'dollar amount' on trust fund mess (3/14)
Trust fund accounting tests federal judge (3/13)
Norton: Cobell plaintiffs oppose reform (3/6)
Norton withdrawing accounting arguments (2/20)
McCaleb: Without settlement, accounting a 'guess' (2/19)
Norton says accounting complete for plaintiffs (2/14)
GAO: Full reconciliation impossible (2/8)
White House orders Andersen review (1/25)
Enron / Andersen hearings kick off (1/25)
Enron / Andersen hearings start today (1/24)
Subpoenas sent to Andersen (1/23)
Trust reform, according to Norton (1/22)
Shredding reported despite probe (1/22)
Andersen taking on IIM accounting (1/18)
Arthur Andersen fired by Enron (1/18)
Andersen questioned Enron relationship (1/17)
Andersen faces rocky future (1/16)
Auditor Andersen's name in 'tatters' (1/14)