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Project on Government Oversight




New Details Emerge out of POGO's BLM Ethics Investigation

October 22, 2010 


POGO readers recently pointed out a few details we missed in our investigation into the bungled ethics ruling at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

For one, it turns out that Linda Rundell, the BLM manager who had "tears in her eyes" upon hearing that former BLM Regional Director Steve Henke had received improper gifts from prohibited sources (but didn't do anything to hold him accountable), also signed the response to our Freedom of Information Act requesting the information. To paraphrase one reader's question, Is it appropriate for the same person who covered up for Henke to be the person vetting documents released on his conduct? Maybe no one at the BLM office knows what a conflict of interest looks like.

Another reader pointed out that Mr. Henke also wasn't the first person at the Farmington, New Mexico BLM office to get too cozy to prohibited sources. Following a Department of Interior Inspector General investigation, a geologist in the Farmington Office was removed from federal service in 2003 and convicted in 2006 for accepting bribes from industry.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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