Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BLM director wants to reopen inquiry

The director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has asked federal investigators to reopen an inquiry into a former Farmington BLM manager. Steve Henke faces renewed questions regarding his tenure leading the BLM's Farmington office after a previous investigation found he accepted golf vacations and other gifts from the oil and gas industry. The call for further investigation indicates Henke's problems are not resolved. BLM Director Bob Abbey "has new information, and he has referred that information to the inspector general," said Celia Boddington, a bureau spokeswoman. Abbey, in an Oct. 18 letter to Interior Department Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall, requests the office "renew its investigative inquiries regarding certain questionable activities that may have occurred during the tenure of Steve Henke," including activities that "eventually led to his employment by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association." Until resigning in May in retirement from the BLM, Henke served for nine years as district manager of the BLM's Farmington field office. He is now president of the oil and gas association, a trade group that advocates for industry interests. Henke did not return messages seeking comment Monday...more

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