Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1531

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_intro in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1533

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1531

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_intro in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1533

Tobacco money for Little Shell Chippewa cut off following audit

By Matthew Brown
Billings, Montana (AP) 10-09

State officials have stopped distributions of tobacco grant money to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa after an audit revealed problems with the tribe’s accounting practices.

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services audit says lax oversight and record keeping allowed for “potential abuse” of a $180,000 annual tobacco use prevention grant.

Half the money was for tobacco programs for the tribe’s 4,300 members scattered across Montana and surrounding states and provinces. The remainder was for similar programs for American Indians in Great Falls and Billings.

The agency’s public health administrator, Jane Smilie, said the funding for the tribe’s internal program could be restored if the tribe improves its accounting.

“We will review their response and determine if our auditors think what has been put in place is adequate,” Smilie said.

In the meantime, the contracts for the Great Falls and Billings programs will be put out for bid.

The audit stops short of alleging any wrongdoing. Little Shell tribal chairman John Sinclair says he believes no abuse took place.

“They’re supposed to do tobacco activities, they’re not accountants,” Sinclair said.

He said three people lost their jobs after the funding was lost, although one may be rehired.

 

 

 

 

0
0
0