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Fort McMurray #468 First Nation being sued for allegedly misusing government funds

Last Updated Sep 20, 2018 at 9:07 am MDT

PHOTO. Several councillors of the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation are being sued for misusing government funding.

Several members of the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation (FMFN) are being sued for misusing government funding.

Samantha Whalen, FMFN councillor is suing CEO of the FMFN Brad Callihoo, Chief Ronald Alfred Kreutzer, councillor Ronald Allen Kreutzer and former councillor Byron Bates.

The government funding was from a settlement that was paid to the FMFN in 2017. In 1998 the FMFN filed a claim against the government for failing to provide agricultural benefits that were promised under Treaty 8. As a result the FMFN received a settlement of over $34 million.

Over $15 million was distributed among the 805 members of the FMFN, $8 million was put into a community trust, $593,000 was used for legal costs and $10.4 million was said to be put into a settlement trust.

Around $1.4 million was left from the $15 million distributed to the members because there were some unidentified members.

The lawsuit claims that Callihoo delivered an invoice to the FMFN council for $600,000 that was allegedly approved by Chief Kreutzer, councillor Kreutzer and former councilor Bates.

Allegedly this money was shared among the defendants and used for their own benefit.

The lawsuit also details that the other defendants hired Bates as project manager for the FMFN without a formal discussion among members, including the plaintiff.

When Whalen began to ask questions on the finances she claims her access to the FMFN records and database were taken away.

As of a result of the lawsuit the defendants now have 20 days to respond.