Friday, June 24, 2016

Feds Won’t Prosecute Gov’t Employee Quietly Taking Money From A Lobbying Group

A U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service (FWS) employee was caught secretly working for a prominent environmental lobbying group while also working for the government, according to an Interior Department inspector general investigation. Stephen Barton did not disclose being on the payroll of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) from 2004 to 2014, earning more than $377,000 during his last six years with the eco-group. During Barton’s time at FWS, the agency awarded WAFWA about $3 million in taxpayer grants. Surprisingly, the U.S. attorney’s offices in Eastern District of Virginia and the District of Idaho both declined to prosecute Barton despite evidence he lied to Interior Department officials about taking a salary from WAFWA. “This investigation determined that Barton received income from WAFWA each year between 2008 and 2014, with the largest amount being $109,242.74 in 2013,” the inspector general reported Monday.
“Records revealed that Barton did not disclose his WAFWA position or salary in any of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) financial disclosure reports that he submitted to FWS in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015,” the IG reported. “According to WAFWA records, Barton was paid a total of $377,363.18 between 2008 and 2014.” Barton also admitted to “using a Government office phone, cellular phone, and email account, along with Government office space, to perform WAFWA business,” according to the IG. He also signed federal grant applications on behalf of WAFWA using the name of another group officers — remember, WAFWA got about $3 million from taxpayer during this time. But that’s not all. The IG’s office also found Barton booked more than 100 flights between 2011 and 2015 on the taxpayer’s dime to Boise, Idaho where his wife lived — even though he was supposed to be working in Washington, D.C. Those trips cost taxpayers $96,087...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not a surprise as our government has turned into a criminal enterprise.