Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, June 24, 2016
House Republicans Chastise Interior Department for Ethics Issues
House Republicans repeatedly attacked the Interior Department Thursday as having "a culture of corruption" because of numerous instances of ethics violations and sexual harassment allegations.
"There is an overwhelming amount of disturbing information the Inspector General has delivered in the last few weeks," Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., said during the meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee's oversight subcommittee. Misconduct allegations have been reported in the National Parks Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, to name a few. The committee has expressed concern that the Interior Department isn't taking action quickly enough against employees involved in the misconduct. Steve Guertin, deputy policy director for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said at the hearing that his agency recently terminated Stephen Barton, a top official in the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. The IG's office had found that Barton failed to disclose outside employment at an organization that receives funding from the agency. He also used more than $90,000 to fund trips to Washington, his reported place of residence, from his actual residence in Idaho.
The Office of the Inspector General will refer cases of misconduct it believes warrant criminal prosecution to the Justice Department. The committee took issue with the fact that the Justice Department decided not to prosecute 17 of 29 criminal cases presented by the IG's office.
Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall noted there were fewer than 80 investigators in her department, which limits her ability to address "more systemic issues within the department and its bureaus."...more