Top Republican demands audit of Interior Department ethics office

Top Republican demands audit of Interior Department ethics office

  • January 24, 2022

Andrew Kerr, Washington Examiner

A key House Republican is seeking an audit of the Interior Department’s ethics office following multiple reports of ethical misconduct from senior Biden administration officials.

In a letter Monday to the Interior Department’s inspector general, Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman said he had “significant concerns” that the Departmental Ethics Office is failing to ensure compliance after two watchdog groups last Tuesday accused Elizabeth Klein, Secretary Deb Haaland‘s senior counselor, of working on matters that involve her former employer and clients.

Two watchdog groups, Energy Policy Advocates and Protect the Public’s Trust, filed a complaint last Tuesday alleging that Klein failed to disclose to ethics officials all of the clients she worked with as part of her work with the Mike Bloomberg-funded State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, which placed lawyers in the offices of Democratic state attorneys general to file legal challenges against Trump-era federal environmental policies.

“If [Klein] has duties to her former clients who are suing the government using Mike Bloomberg’s money, she can’t also serve in the government and respond to those same clients’ legal complaints or petitions,” Matthew Hardin, a board member for Energy Policy Advocates, told the Washington Examiner.

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