Energy

Obama Turned ‘A Blind Eye’ To Fired Interior Official’s Corruption, GOP Rep Says

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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GOP Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah accused the Obama administration of ignoring the unethical and illegal behavior of a former Department of the Interior official Monday.

Bishop, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, made the charge after Bureau of Land Management (BLM) law enforcement official Dan Love was fired Friday.

“The previous administration turned a blind eye to corruption and promoted a culture of mismanagement at the Department of the Interior,” Bishop said in a statement. “I applaud Interior for taking a strong stand and reasserting the basic principle that there are consequences for federal employees who blatantly disregard the law and steamroll elected officials and public trust. Love’s exit is welcome.”

Love was the object of two Inspector General reports that were published in January and August of 2017. Both reports found that Love was guilty of corruption.

Love used his position in the BLM to provide special treatment to friends and family at the 2015 Burning Man event. He obtained tickets and special passes for family and used BLM resources to escort and transport his friends and family. Love also intervened to get a friend hired as a special agent, according to the January report.

Love again used his position to benefit his friends and family by passing out unique rocks, called moqui marbles, obtained in a federal investigation and being held as evidence. He also directed a subordinate to delete emails when he was being investigated by the IG, according to the August report.

“After numerous reports substantiating serious allegations of misconduct including the destruction of federal records, defiance of congressional document requests and misuse of ancient artifacts under investigation as office decor, I expect Interior to hold Dan Love accountable. The people of Utah and Nevada — and the American taxpayers — deserve better,” Bishop said after the release of the latest report.

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