Biden Interior Secretary Hit With Ethics Complaint By Watchdog

Biden Interior Secretary Hit With Ethics Complaint By Watchdog

  • August 17, 2023

Protect the Public’s Trust, a government oversight and accountability organization, filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland with the inspector general of the Department of the Interior (DOI).


The ethics complaint alleges that Haaland may not have been impartial when making decisions regarding oil and gas leasing around the Chaco Canyon, and it requested that the DOI’s inspector general initiate an investigation into any potential conflicts of interest. President Joe Biden signed a January 2021 executive order requiring every appointee of the executive branch to sign an ethics commitment, pledging to make decisions “on the merits and exclusively in the public interest, without regard to private gain or personal benefit.”


The complaint alleges further that Haaland inappropriately featured in a film about the Chaco Canyon and tribal opposition to fossil-fuel-related activities in the area.


Thursday’s complaint is the second ethics-related complaint filed against a Biden administration official this week. Leaders of Protect the Public’s Trust and 13 other government transparency and accountability groups sent a letter to Biden on Tuesday requesting that he seek the immediate resignation of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, on the grounds that she has allegedly perpetrated a “litany of abuses of public trust” in her capacity as head of the Department of Energy.

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