Robert Clinton Professor Robert Clinton was quoted in The New York Times and The Arizona Republic in articles about the historic multi-billion dollar settlement of a 13-year-old lawsuit filed over mismanagement of the American Indian trust funds.
The Dec. 9 article in The New York Times, by reporter Charlie Savage, called the lawsuit “one of the largest and most complicated class-action lawsuits ever brought against the United States.” It involved hundreds of thousands of land trust accounts that date to the 19th century.
The lawsuit would pay $1.4 billion to compensate Indians for claims of historical irregularities, and use $3 billion to buy back portions of land that have been fractionalized over several generations.
As Savage explained in his article, one 40-acre parcel today has 439 owners, most of whom receive less than $1 a year in income from it. The parcel is valued at about $20,000, but costs the government more than $40,000 a year to administer those trusts.
Savage quoted Clinton as saying that the settlement alone will not resolve the trust problem because many of the heirs who own tiny interests in parcels may not be willing to sell them.
Read The New York Times article here.