Report: Fired Mille Lacs executive who blew whistle on tribe’s marijuana plans sues

Derek Dorr, who oversaw the tribe’s federal contract business, alleges reprisal in a federal lawsuit and seeks potentially millions.

Derek Dorr thought the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe could lose millions in federal contracts and break the law if the tribe got into the marijuana business, and said he brought his concerns to tribal leaders and the U.S. State Department last fall.

Dorr was promptly fired as CEO of tribal-owned Makwa, which handles contracts with the State Department and other government agencies, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.

“The timing of his discharge was not a coincidence — it was a reprisal,” the suit alleges. “Cannabis remains a prohibited substance under federal law, and Makwa is a company in the business of federal government contracting.”

Dorr is seeking potentially millions of dollars in damages and lost compensation.

A lawyer for Makwa, Molly Ryan, said the company denies the claims and will “vigorously defend the allegations of the lawsuit.”

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