OMAHA, Neb. — Former and current members of the Omaha Tribal Council charged with misusing federal money are challenging federal authority in the matter.

Court documents say the nine defendants paid themselves nearly $389,000 from contract funds with the Indian Health Service that was supposed to be used to provide health care for members of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.

Officials have said bonuses were paid for work council and other officials did on a contract dispute with the Indian Health Service.

The Sioux City Journal reports that the defendants’ say in a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Omaha that the money was received as part of the legal settlement. They argue that the disbursement is an internal tribal matter that falls outside of federal government oversight.

Information from: Sioux City Journal,

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