National Park Official Wanted To Remodel His Taxpayer-Owned House So He Could Rent It Out

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

A National Parks Service (NPS) senior official planned on using thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to renovate an NPS residence he planned to rent out as his own, according to an Office of Inspector General report released Wednesday.

The official wanted to make $32,000 worth of specific renovations to an NPS-owned “historic townhouse” that he planned to live in. The official had decided against living in the residence, however, by the time the OIG investigated him in January, The Hill reports.

“He requested unnecessary design and construction improvements to a park housing unit he expected to rent as his personal residence,” the OIG report summary states.

The Regional Development Advisory Board, in charge of approving all renovation projects, was never aware that the official would move into the house. Also, multiple NPS employees and contractors disagreed with the official’s proposed changes, though only one voiced concerns before the proposal was submitted.

The NPS had placed a hold on the project before any renovations were done. No disciplinary action was mentioned in the report.

The OIG also investigated the official for promoting unqualified employees and serving improperly on park partner organization boards, but the investigation found no evidence of either.

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