Saturday, October 29, 2016

Interior secretary warns employees to be 'vigilant' after Bundy decision

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told department employees she is concerned that a jury’s decision to acquit six men and a woman in connection with their occupation of a remote Oregon wildlife refuge could endanger federal employees. In a letter sent Friday to Interior Department staff, Jewell said she respected the jury’s verdict but that staffers should be vigilant — and careful — going forward. “I am profoundly disappointed in this outcome and am concerned about its potential implications for our employees and for the effective management of public lands,” Jewell wrote. Jurors told news outlets that prosecutors had failed to convince them that the occupiers had conspired to keep federal agents from doing their jobs. In her letter to department staff, Jewell said she and Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor had visited the refuge in March, shortly after the occupation ended. The employees she met there, she wrote, had been worried about their own safety. “The armed occupation in Oregon was and continues to be a reminder that employees in all offices should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your supervisor and, where appropriate, law enforcement officials,” Jewell wrote...more

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