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Former North Dakota tribal official pleads guilty to bribery


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former government official of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks from a construction contractor has pleaded guilty to federal charges in North Dakota. Randall Phelan was an elected representative of the governing body of the Three Affiliated Tribes from the end of 2012 to the middle of 2020. Investigators say Phelan used his official position to help the contractor’s business by awarding contracts, fabricating bids and managing fraudulent invoices. His trial had been scheduled to begin Tuesday. Phelan and two others were originally charged with receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bribery scheme on the oil-rich Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The contractor has pleaded guilty to bribery.

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