Thursday, June 02, 2016

Former BLM chief pushed deal favoring his future firm

Former Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey was "personally and substantially" involved in the sale of federal lands in Nevada that would have earned his future consulting firm $528,000, in violation of an ethics pledge he signed, the Interior Department Office of Inspector General said in a report released today. The report also concluded that Mike Ford, a consultant and former BLM employee who was Abbey's business partner before and after Abbey's tenure as BLM director, leveraged his connections to agency leadership to gain insider knowledge of the land sale and expedite its approval. The joint investigation by the IG and FBI was requested by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Interior's solicitor and former House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). It sought to determine Abbey's level of influence in the 2012 sale of 480 acres of federal lands in Henderson, Nev., to Christopher Milam, a developer who had signed a deal with the city to build a stadium on the land for professional basketball, soccer and hockey teams. Ford's firm Robcyn LLC had signed agreements with Henderson and Milam to provide consulting services to help them navigate the BLM land sale process, the IG said. If the land sale was successful, Ford's firm -- which Abbey planned to rejoin -- was to receive $528,000. The sale eventually fell apart after Milam reneged on his promise to build a stadium. "Abbey was personally and substantially involved in the presale process for the land," the report found. "Abbey stood to benefit personally from the sale because he and Mike Ford, a former BLM employee and Abbey's onetime business partner, had arranged for Abbey to resume his role as a partner in their private consulting firm after he left BLM."...more

1 comment:

drjohn said...

another federal crook