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Law
Judge tosses lawsuit over BIA role in tribal finances


A federal judge in Utah has dismissed a lawsuit accusing the Bureau of Indian Affairs of failing to supervise the Northern Ute Tribe's finances.

The suit blamed the BIA of allowing a financial advisor to have total control of the tribe's finances. The Jurrius Group, owned by John Jurrius, is paid $50,000 a month for his work, receives a portion of the tribe's oil and gas revenues and is trying to access the tribe's $173 million trust fund, the plaintiffs said.

But the judge said the plaintiffs, including two former tribal council members, failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before the BIA. The plaintiffs had sued Western Region Director Wayne Nordwall and Uintah-Ouray Superintendent Chet Mills.

The tribe did not support the lawsuit. Luke Duncan and Ron Wopsock claim they were removed from the business committee for questioning Jurrius.

Get the Story:
Suit by 2 ex-Ute officials dismissed (The Deseret Morning News 10/21)

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Ute tribal members sue BIA over tribal finances (10/23)
Ute tribal election said tainted by endorsement (4/23)