Outgoing Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claims that costs associated with defending himself and his family from “false allegations” prompted his decision Saturday morning to resign.
“I love working for the President and am incredibly proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished together. However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations,” Zinke wrote on Twitter following news of his resignation.
I love working for the President and am incredibly proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished together. However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations. Full statement attached. pic.twitter.com/gwo75SA6bM
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) December 15, 2018
Reports about Zinke’s travel spending, political activity and decisions as interior secretary have roiled the Trump administration throughout the last six months. The Office of Special Counsel and the DOI inspector general have investigated him at least 15 times. The same two watchdogs investigated the four prior DOI secretaries a total of 11 times.
Zinke has been moderately successful at beating back at least one of the many allegations leveled against him.
The inspector general for the Department of the Interior found no evidence that Zinke gave Utah state Rep. Mike Noel special consideration when rolling back the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, according to a copy of the IG report obtained by The AP. (RELATED: Report: Past Presidents Created National Monuments To ‘Prevent Economic Activity’)
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