Let’s face the facts, one reason the government has failed protect our land and wildlife lately is because there are a white collar criminals running the Dept. of Interior and other government agencies. . . and in case they were literally in bed with big oil.
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In case you haven’t read those parts of this blog regarding top Dept. of Interior officials and possible corruption, a big story is breaking about J. Steven Griles, the former No. 2 official at the Interior, and others. I have always referred to Griles as “ethically challenged,” but now more meat is being put on the bones of the story.
The matter also reaches into the Department of Justice. Sue Ellen Wooldridge, the nations’s top environmental prosecutor owned a plush vacation house with Griles. They were sweethearts. The major owner of the house, however, was ConocoPhillips Vice President Donald R. Duncan. Wooldridge and Duncan purchased the house nine months before she agreed to allow ConocoPhillips delay a $525-million pollution cleanup.
Griles, who is now an oil and gas lobbyist, began dating Wooldridge when she was in the Dept. of Interior, and he was her boss.
In a separate matter, Griles has been told by prosecutors that he is a target of the continuing investigation of convicted felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his ties to the Department of Interior where he repeatedly sought special favors.
Here are a series of stories.
Feb. 17. Cozy at the Beach. Editorial in the Washington Post. “A Justice Department lawyer invests with a lobbyist, settles with his company — and is told there’s no ethics problem.”
Feb. 17. Ethics Story Thickens Over Abramoff-Interior Relationships. By Todd Wilkinson, New West.
Feb. 17. House panel hears of Dept. of Interior management mess. By Noelle Straub. Casper Star Tribune.
Feb. 15. How feds’ top environmental prosecutor built home with big-oil lobbyist. By John Heilprin