Editorial: Investigate Spirit Lake business
"Sioux Manufacturing is located on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation and is owned by the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe. In 2006, two former employees said the company had been failing to meet the government’s standard for Kevlar fabric of 35 Kevlar yarns per square inch.

The employees sued. The Justice Department looked into the allegations and raided the company, seizing records and cloth. Then last month, news stories reported that the company had agreed to pay $2 million to settle the lawsuit.

Importantly, however, the company continues to vigorously deny that it did anything wrong. The settlement simply was a way to avoid a lengthy and expensive court battle, company officials say.

That’s persuasive evidence — but it’s not enough. In order to retain confidence in the company’s product, the public must rely on something other than Sioux Manufacturing’s word. Serious allegations have been made, and the U.S. attorney appears at least to give those allegations some credibility. That’s reason enough for Congress or the Pentagon to investigate.

Sens. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton earlier called for an investigation. North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan now has joined them. The senators have the right idea. Federal officials should investigate the former employees’ claims, and this time — unlike the lawsuit, which ended inconclusively — determine who’s right."

Get the Story:
OUR OPINION: Investigate claims of poorly made Kevlar (The Grand Forks Herald 3/4)

Relevant Links:
Sioux Manufacturing Corp - http://www.siouxmanufacturing.com
Spirit Lake Nation - http://www.spiritlakenation.com

Related Stories:
Sen. Dorgan seeks probe of Spirit Lake business (2/29)
Spirit Lake Nation disputes story on company (2/14)
Spirit Lake firm won $74M contract despite probe (2/7)
Spirit Lake business settles false claims case (12/19)
Spirit Lake Sioux firm wins military contract (11/14)
Spirit Lake Nation business raided by armed agents (6/22)
N.D. tribe supports military through business (04/15)
N.D. tribe's business sees boost during war (03/28)
N.D. tribe makes military equipment (11/19)