Former Manitoba chief questions federal audit

By: The Canadian Press

 | Aug 25, 2014 - 3:25 PM |
WINNIPEG - A former Manitoba aboriginal leader accused by federal auditors of squandering thousands of dollars on travel and questionable expenses says he is being unfairly targeted.

Murray Clearsky, former grand chief of the Southern Chiefs' Organization, says he has receipts for many of the expenses and can justify them.

But he says he was never given a chance to repay the money or explain the expenses to federal auditors.

In a letter to the organization, Aboriginal Affairs says auditors found $261,000 in questionable spending — just over half the federal funding the organization receives.

The letter highlights almost $39,000 withdrawn on a debit card during a trip to Minneapolis, as well as more than $5,000 racked up during a trip to Las Vegas.

Current Grand Chief Terrance Nelson says the federal government is using audits like this to target aboriginal organizations that are seen as unfriendly.

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