Mille Lacs Messenger
By: Vivian LaMoore
The Mille Lacs County Board voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Justice for lack of response to data requests. The price tag to the taxpayers of the county begins at $10,000. During the regular meeting of the board of commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 17, outside attorney Randy Thompson presented the board with his opinion regarding data requests. Thompson explained he has made several requests to the BIA and DOJ and believes his requests have not adequately been addressed. He said he feels he may be being “deliberately ignored” and feels filing suit is the only way to get the attention to his requests. He said he feels it could be handled for $10,000. “But once you get attorneys involved, you know,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders and no further comment on the costs that may be associated with such a suit.
In Thompson’s opinion, he believes the BIA and DOJ will promptly release the documentation he requested if he files the suit. “Hopefully, litigation will result in the documents. That is what we all want anyway,” Thompson said.
“Are these documents important to the law enforcement agreement?” commissioner Dave Oslin asked.
“Yes,” Thompson said.
The documentation requested by Thompson is regarding the Tribal Law and Order Act, among other items. Thompson said he requested specific documentation and notes from meetings from several federal agencies. To follow up and address what the exact documents were and to whom the requests were made, county administrator Pat Oman referred the Messenger to Thompson. When asked of Thompson, he refered the Messenger back to Oman.
As of press time, neither Oman nor Thompson clarified the question and it remained unclear exactly what specific documents and meeting notes Thompson is looking for.