STATEMENT: IG Finds Top Interior Official Violated Federal Ethics Pledge

Senior Interior Appointee Had Contact With Their Former Employer, Failed To Seek Ethics Guidance

HELENA, MT – Today, the Interior Department released a new Inspector General report that found that a senior political appointee violated their ethics pledge while working for the Department by meeting with representatives of their former employer. The report on the unnamed senior political appointee believed to be Interior’s Senior Advisor for Alaska Affairs and the Region 11 Field Special Assistant found that they failed to consult with Interior’s ethics office on whether they were allowed to take the meeting beforehand.

In response, Western Values Project Director Jayson O’Neill released the following statement: 

“Time and again senior Interior Department officials have discarded their ethics pledges to meet with former clients and special interests that they are barred from communicating and working with. We know Secretary Bernhardt engaged in this type of conduct and some of his top aides have followed suit. 

“We have ethics laws on the books for a reason: to protect the American people from government officials who put private interests ahead of the public good. No one is above the law – any government official who violates their ethics pledge should be named and held accountable for their conduct, full stop.” 


Read Interior’s Inspector General report here

Learn more about Interior’s Senior Advisor for Alaska Affairs ties to their former employer here.


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