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Interior Minister Ryan Zinke violated the institution's travel policy, the agency watchdog was terminated

Lisa Rein Reporter covering federal government and government administration in Trump Administration 18 October at 18:38 BREAKING: Interior Minister Ryan…

BREAKING: Interior Minister Ryan Zinke violated the institution’s travel policy, the authority’s watchdog completed.

The Interior Ministry’s watchdog found that Zinke violated the departmental policy by allowing his wife to travel in state vehicles and instruct her security detail to drive a helper to the airport.

The decision to take an unattended security item on its foreign vacation cost taxpayer $ 25,000, the report was found.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

The officials of the Interior Department said on Thursday that they did not approve of a political employee being hired as the agency’s working watchdog and called the announcement of her relocation of Housing and Urban Development Minister Ben Carson “100 percent false information.”

Backtracking at Suzanne Israel Tufts move two days after the widespread examination deepened questions about how and why she was elected to lead the Interior Director General’s Office, which currently conducts at least four investigations to Secretary Ryan Zinke. Last week, investigators investigated two moods for actions to devices bound to the probes, according to two people who knew the question that spoke on terms of anonymity because they were not competent to speak publicly.

Furore of the Interior Inspector General arrived as the office sent its latest report to Capitol Hill, examining Zinces trip and his wife, Lola. The office found that the staff in the Solicitor’s office “approved Lolita Zinke and other people to ride in state vehicles with secretary Zinke” despite the fact that domestic policy banned this practice. Zinke also confirmed to investigators that “his staff had investigated the consequences of making her a volunteer” and other employees raised concerns that this could be perceived as a way to cover her travel expenses.

Zinke “denied that it was an attempt to circumvent the claim to replace DOI for her trip,” the report says.

The Critics of the Administration said the report, which also showed that taxpayers paid $ 25,000 to send an unguarded security detail with the zincs on their vacation to Turkey last summer, breaking public confidence.

“In this report, Secretary Zinkes shows doggie determination to use his personal gain office, even as far as telling domestic supreme attorney that he is lying to the public to motivate his wife’s journey, says Jen Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, a advocacy group. “Secretary Zinke owes the American people an apology – and a refund.”

White House officials said on Thursday that they had not been informed of the plan to move Tufts, a lawyer from Queens as worked with President Trump’s campaign and has served as HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Administration since December.

“Ms. Tufts is not employed by the department and no decision has ever been made to move her to Interior, says the press press secretary Heather Swift in a statement Thursday.

And in a striking public resistance against another government agency led by a close friend to Zinke’s, Swift wrote that HUD “sent an email that had 100 percent false information in it.” She confirmed that Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall, who has headed the office for nine years, is still in the job. [19659016] In an email Friday with the subject line “A Fond Farvel”, Carson staff wrote: “It is with mixed feelings to announce that Suzanne Israel Tufts, our deputy secretary of administration, has decided to leave HUD to to become Deputy Secretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior. “

” I am very grateful to Suzanne for her service to HUD and is convinced she will enjoy her new role, “says Carson.

Swift Sa Tufts was referred to domestic officials of W hite House “as a potential candidate” for a position at the inspector’s general office. Swift did not say which position. “At the end of the day, she was not offered a job at home.”

HUD officials did not respond to a request for comment. Tufts could not be reached.

The face came after an increased criticism of Legislators on Capitol Hill and watchdog groups about what seemed to be an unorthodox arrangement between the agencies to bring in a political advisor to monitor Kendall. Earlier, President Barack Obama nominated her as the inspector general’s position, but the Senate never voted for it. Tufts is meanwhile a former consultant who has no experience as investigator and would have led one of the government’s most active inspector’s general offices.

Kendall is currently conducting at least four studies of Zinc’s behavior, including his involvement in a Montana national trade and his business in connection with two Connecticut tribes, the application to open a new casino.

In an interview Thursday, Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt said that he had developed a good collaboration with Kendall, but the head of department scouting for any president could nominate to earn on a permanent basis.

“Mary would agree that it would be good for the inspector’s secretary general to be a president-appointed Senate-confirmed individual,” Bernhardt said. “I think she agrees that the job has been vacant since [former Inspector General Earl] Devaney left for almost a decade. It’s not good, because it’s not that we drive the country.”

The Tufts Agreement, announced HUD- Staff of Carson on Friday, came to light this week through reports in Washington Post and other sales outlets. White House officials spoke on terms of anonymity to discuss staff issues, said the move came as a surprise to them.

The Interior Ministers declined to Thursday to answer questions about Tufts’s employment and instead said that the post had been vacant for almost a decade and that any notice on senate appointment would come from the White House.

While presidents have the right to employ and fire inspectors in general, the 1978 Inspection Act states that candidates should be selected “without regard to political affiliation and exclusively on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, audit, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration or investigations. “

Michael Bromwich, who served as General Inspector at the Justice Department from 1994 to 1999, as well as the head of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from 2010 to 2011, called Tufts rent” very unusual “. [19659028] “According to the Charter, it is solitary among political members, this is a non-partisan position permanently staffed by those with appropriate backgrounds,” Bromwich said. “It’s a real crime against the protocol to put someone who’s only qualification is a political fidelity against the Trump administration. “

Apart from having a legal degree, it is unclear what specific aspect of Tufts background qualifies her for the work of the Interior Inspector General Secretary. Her summary, achieved under the Act on the Freedom of Information of the Atonement Group American Oversight, shows that she volunteered “Trump-Pence 2017” by helping educate and distribute lawyers in the field.

Tufts wrote that she worked with the Republican National Lawyers Association on behalf of the Trump-Pence campaign in both Philadelphia and New York. In addition, according to her summary, she was “responsible for recruitment and training of 20% of lawyers na which was sent to the field. “

Rep. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), The top democrat of the House Natural Resources Committee, questioned why the administration had changed its history of Tuft’s appointment.

“What’s her job there?” If they try to move blame for their latest scandal and backtrack, while it’s still time, they should just say that. Anyway, no one buys this statement and we will not stop pushing reply. “

Tracy Jan and Robert O & Harrow contributed to this report.

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