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Probe Begins Over Indian Affairs Office Alligation

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The U.S. Interior Department´s inspector general and Congress´ General Accounting Office are launching probes into alleged conflicts of interest involving officials of the Sacramento-based regional office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Interior Department investigators plan to begin interviews and gathering documents Wednesday — after the Associated Press disclosed that regional BIA officials opened the membership roll of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians and authorized a new leadership election when they stood to gain personally from those decisions.

Meanwhile, the FBI has assigned a new case agent to review allegations of alleged BIA conflicts and influence-peddling involving the Buena Vista Me-Wuk band — a nearby but unrelated Amador County tribe that also is seeking a casino.