DOI Inspector General: Top BLM Official Violated Ethics Pledge

DOI Inspector General: Top BLM Official Violated Ethics Pledge

  • August 23, 2022
IG investigation triggered by PPT finds Nada Culver “did not comply with the Federal Ethics Pledge”

Today, federal watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust announced that a “BLM Official did not comply” with a provision of the Biden Ethics Pledge, according to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of the Interior (DOI). The investigation that revealed the violation was triggered by a complaint filed by PPT in June 2021.

The results of the investigation were revealed in a public version of a report (“Bureau of Land Management Official Did Not Comply With the Federal Ethics Pledge”) released by DOI’s OIG on August 18, 2022. The IG report does not name the official involved nor that official’s former employers related to the incidents discussed in the report. However, details in the report closely match those in a complaint filed by PPT against Nada Culver.

Currently the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) #2, Ms. Culver was delegated the authority of the BLM Director while the current director, Tracy Stone-Manning, awaited Senate confirmation. While Ms. Culver was the de facto BLM head, PPT filed an ethics complaint alleging she participated in a matter in which her former employer was involved. The DOI OIG confirmed to PPT that it had begun an investigation into our complaint against Ms. Culver in July 2021. Documents recently received by PPT in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request further suggest that the BLM official who was the subject of the report is Nada Culver.

“The ethics violation revealed by the investigation triggered by our complaint proves the necessity of ethics oversight,” declared Michael Chamberlain, Director of Protect the Public’s Trust. “The IG’s confirmation of a violation by Ms. Culver appears to be another piece of evidence demonstrating the laissez-faire attitude toward ethics under Secretary Haaland’s leadership. It is disappointing that such a large and powerful agency does not seem to have taken to heart the Biden Administration’s pledge to be the most ethical in history.”