Leech Lake investigates pipeline payment

Bemidji, Minnesota (AP) September 2010

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate the possibility that a $2.4 million payment from a pipeline company may have been misappropriated.

The band last week retained former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug to look into the matter.

Chairman Arthur LaRose says if the investigation finds the payment was “misapplied or diverted,” tribal leaders will take legal action to recover it.

The Bemidji Pioneer says Lillehaug expects to have a preliminary report to the tribal council in about a month.

Enbridge Energy expects to pay $10 million to the Leech Lake Band in exchange for permits and leases needed for the portion of its 1,000-mile pipeline that crosses tribal land.