SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians can continue its lawsuit against a former Tribal chairman and other Tribal employees who are accused of improperly collecting about $2.66 million from the Tribe in 2004.

The orders reinstated a ruling by the Chippewa County Circuit Court that allows the Tribe an opportunity to pursue a legal malpractice claim against one of the Tribe’s former retained law firms, Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, P.L.C.; as well as an action against then-Chairman Bernard Bouschor regarding the propriety of making authorized payments to seven Sault Tribe employees that collectively totaled about $2.66 million. The Tribe contends in the lawsuit the Chairman did not have authority to approve the payments and seeks repayment of the funds to the Tribe.

The lawsuit originally filed in Chippewa County Circuit Court was appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 2008 and finally the Michigan Supreme Court in 2009.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY