Holding the Interior Department Accountable for Ethics Violations


At a Glance

Violations of ethics obligations by officials across the Interior Department have raised serious questions about whether top agency officials are working to benefit the public, or to benefit the wealthy special interests that used to fund their paychecks. CLC is working to hold Interior officials accountable for ethics violations.

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The Latest

Ethical concerns have plagued the Interior Department since former lobbyist David Bernhardt took a top spot at the agency, and they do not seem to be going away anytime soon. 

trove of recently-published emails between Bernhardt, while he was still Deputy Secretary, and the agency’s ethics staff offer an inside look into the flaws in Interior’s...

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About this Action

The Interior Department and its bureaus are responsible for protecting the nation’s natural resources. The agency manages public lands and minerals, national parks and wildlife refuges, and environmental conservation efforts. Top political appointees at Interior, however, previously lobbied or worked for the wealthy special interests that they now regulate, which raises significant ethics concerns.

Interior’s responsibilities have nationwide consequences, and they will only become more important as resources become scarcer. America deserves public servants who take Interior’s responsibilities seriously and are committed to protecting our resources for all of us, rather than for the wealthy and well-connected.

Ethics rules are designed to ensure that decisions affecting millions of people are decided on behalf of the public, not on behalf of the special interests that used to sign one official’s paychecks. Ethics rules exist so important decisions, like those determining how increasingly scarce resources are allocated, are made in the public’s interest.

Campaign Legal Center has been working to hold the leaders of the Interior Department accountable for ethical lapses since early 2018.

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