FROM THE ARCHIVE
Griles: Receiver would end sovereign relationship
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2001

Appointing a receiver to take over the individual Indian trust would end the Department of Interior's government-to-government relationship with tribes, Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles told tribal leaders on Wednesday.

If a federal judge hands the trust to an outside caretaker, resolution of more than 100 years of financial mismanagement would end up in the courts, Griles said. That's why the government is opposing it and wants to create a new agency to handle both individual and tribal trusts, he added.

"I don't want to debate a lawyer [over receivership]," Griles was reported by The Spokesman Review-Journal to have said. "I'm expressing what I've been told."

Secretary Gale Norton's lawyers, however, did not make such an argument in their court filing of November 15. Instead, they said a receiver violates the separation of powers, the appointments and the appropriations clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

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Norton faces contempt trial (The Spokesman Review 11/29)
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Relevant Links:
Office of the Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Trust Management Improvement Project - http://www.doi.gov/bia/trust/tmip.htm
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com

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