Judge approves nearly $1B settlement between US and tribes
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has approved a nearly $1 billion settlement between the Obama administration and Native American tribes over claims the government shorted tribes for decades on contract costs to manage education, law enforcement and other federal services.
Attorneys for the tribes learned Wednesday that a federal judge in Albuquerque approved the agreement, about five months after the Interior Department and tribal leaders announced they had reached a proposed $940 million settlement in the class-action lawsuit.
The judge's approval filed late Tuesday starts a process to release payment to the tribes that an attorney said could take several months. The ruling also authorized a $1.2 million reimbursement for lead plaintiff's costs, and an agreement for attorneys to receive 8.5 percent of the final settlement amount.