Dynamic Homes
Advertise:   ads@blueearthmarketing.com   712.224.5420

Trust
Swimmer admits some Navajo appraisals too low


Special Trustee Ross Swimmer says some Navajo landowners received less than market value for use of their land but denies oil and gas companies are exploiting allottees.

Swimmer told SmartMoney.Com that he's "not at all happy with the way business is being done and was done" at the Navajo regional office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The office's former top appraiser allowed drilling companies to use Navajo lands at rates far less than what non-Indian and even the Navajo Nation received.

"If you talk to some of those companies, you get a little different perspective," Swimmer was quoted as saying. "Their concern is, 'How do I get a right of way'? The price is inconsequential."

Swimmer said he can't comment on any disciplinary action he might take against the former appraiser, who has been reassigned to another region.

Get the Story:
An Ugly History (SmartMoney.Com 12/7)

Earlier Story:
Fraud in New Mexico (SmartMoney.Com 12/3)

Relevant Documents:
Deborah Lewis Affidavit (December 2, 2004)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust

Related Stories:
DOI was warned on appraisals of Navajo lands (12/6)
Trust fund special master alleges government fraud (04/07)
Special master Balaran resigns from Cobell lawsuit (4/6)
Lamberth defends special master against attack (03/16)
Navajo landowners question BIA agreement with company (10/21)
Retaliation alleged in firing of trust fund manager (09/18)
Court report finds undervaluation of Navajo lands (08/21)
Navajo trust fund manager targeted in internal probe (07/15)
DOI employees falsified Navajo trust data (06/11)
Navajo leaders criticize upheaval at trust fund office (05/09)
Memo: Solicitor's order was 'intimidating' (10/10)
Interior delaying trust reform report (9/6)