HELENA — Federal officials have lifted their temporary hold on funding for a $361 million water pipeline for a Native American reservation in northern Montana.
Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Tyler Johnson said Wednesday the agency is satisfied Chippewa Cree tribal officials are addressing the problems identified in March.
The agency temporarily halted funding the 50-mile pipeline project after discovering money had gone missing, a tribal leader had steered federal dollars to a company he owns. The agency also found accounting problems.
Since then, a federal corruption investigation into the project has resulted in six indictments. That includes Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. CEO Tony Belcourt, whom the Bureau of Reclamation identified as having a conflict of interest.
Belcourt pleaded not guilty to fraud, theft and money-laundering charges.
He has been suspended from the company.