New Watchdog Complaint Outlines ‘Pattern Of Ethical Misconduct’ At Interior Department
A government ethics watchdog has called for the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General to launch a formal investigation into violations of federal ethics rules by six high-ranking agency officials who maintained close ties to former employers. The 19-page complaint from the D.C.-based nonpartisan nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, which cites two HuffPost reports, comes two weeks after President Donald Trump nominated David Bernhardt, Interior’s acting secretary and a former oil lobbyist, as the department’s permanent chief. He would replace Ryan Zinke, who resigned in January under a cloud of ethics scandals. The CLC wrote in its complaint Wednesday that the senior employees’ violations “suggest a disturbing pattern of misconduct” across the agency.