Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s conduct attracts unprecedented scrutiny from government investigators

New analysis finds 18 government investigations into Zinke’s actions at Interior — more than the last four secretaries combined [UPDATED]

Western Priorities
Jun 1, 2018 · 8 min read

By Greg Zimmerman

Editors’ note: As of October 18, 2018, the tables in this article have been updated to reflect additional investigations by the Office of Special Counsel, as well as a new Inspector General investigation into Zinke’s attempts to change the boundary of Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument.

Note: This does not include Government Accountability Office investigations | Sources

The investigative workload is becoming a problem for the overtaxed Inspector General.

This was not the first time investigators hit a dead end because of insufficient documentation or uncooperative witnesses. After Secretary Zinke threatened to torpedo Senator Lisa Murkowski’s home-state priorities if she voted against Obamacare repeal efforts in Congress, the Inspector General opened an investigation into whether the secretary violated anti-lobbying laws. Investigators were forced to shutter their investigation because Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan refused to cooperate in the inquiry. Zinke also dodged questions from the Government Accountability Office about his conversations with Murkowski and Sullivan.

Sources

Westwise

Public lands and the outdoors, from the Center for Western Priorities