BREAKING NEWS Woman injured in fireworks accident Full Story

Inspector general reports coming soon on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

Two major reports are expected this month from the Interior Department's inspector general, wrapping up two investiga...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 12:15 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 12:15 PM

Two major reports are expected this month from the Interior Department's inspector general, wrapping up two investigations that have been hanging over Secretary Ryan Zinke's head for several months.

A review of more than 30 reassignments of senior executive staffers -- many of whom were minorities or women -- could be completed by the end of this week. CNN reported last month that Zinke has been telling staff that he isn't focused on diversity. Meanwhile, some of the reassigned staffers complained they felt they were being retaliated against for political reasons.

Next week, another report is expected on Zinke's use of military and private aircraft, one a plane owned by pool executives, while traveling to his hometown and in the US Virgin Islands.

Over the past year, Zinke has faced numerous questions from media and Congress about his travel practices, and apparent mixing of business and personal travel.

He and other Cabinet members -- including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and now-departed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin -- have been under investigation and scrutiny for travel or personal-related spending throughout the past year.

These are just two of several open investigations that loom over Zinke.

The Office of Special Counsel is considering two possible Hatch Act violations related to Zinke's trips to Pennsylvania and Florida.

In February, during a special election in western Pennsylvania, Zinke announced $56 million in grants to help clean up abandoned mining sites at an event with state Rep. Rick Saccone, the Republican candidate in the tight race. Democrats asked for an investigation, and say the Office of Special Counsel is reviewing the request.

On Friday CNN reported that the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, is calling for a Hatch Act investigation into whether Zinke violated the act when he announced Florida's exemption from expanded offshore drilling with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

The Office of Special Counsel told CNN it has received the letter and opened a file. Grijalva's office says the OSC confirmed to them that it is taking up the review. (The Office of Special Counsel is unrelated to the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Muller.)

The Government Accountability Office wrote a letter back in September to Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. saying the GAO is writing a legal opinion on whether Zinke threatened two Republican Alaska senators during the heated health care debate. It was sparked by an interview with Sen. Dan Sullivan in the Alaska Dispatch News in which Sullivan recalled a "troubling" conversation with Zinke, saying he seemed to threaten consequences for Alaska if Sullivan didn't support Obamacare repeal.

"I'm not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop," Sullivan said.

The inspector general closed an investigation when both Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski declined to cooperate. Zinke called the suggestion "laughable."

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Fayetteville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Scottsboro
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 83°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
Tuscaloosa222642
Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
Walker91424
Elmore90314
Franklin88914
Dallas8799
Baldwin8469
Etowah72713
DeKalb7075
Butler62428
Chambers62427
Tallapoosa58869
Autauga58312
Russell5450
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4896
Limestone4810
Houston4794
Lowndes46721
Cullman4394
Pike4205
Colbert3916
Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
Covington3547
Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
Sumter28412
Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
Cherokee857
Geneva790
Lamar751
Fayette681
Clay642
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 50140

Reported Deaths: 637
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11560198
Davidson10726118
Rutherford291935
Hamilton271635
Sumner159352
Trousdale14965
Williamson126815
Out of TN11647
Knox11425
Wilson91017
Putnam8827
Robertson82611
Sevier7903
Lake6910
Bradley6743
Tipton6375
Unassigned6351
Bledsoe6191
Bedford5595
Montgomery5497
Macon4523
Maury3423
Hardeman3295
Hamblen3174
Fayette3122
Madison2912
Loudon2801
Rhea2780
Dyer2481
McMinn23218
Cheatham2251
Blount2183
Dickson2060
Cumberland1804
Lawrence1576
Washington1490
Lauderdale1433
Monroe1386
Anderson1342
Gibson1281
Jefferson1270
Coffee1170
Smith1161
Sullivan1162
Obion1122
Hardin1097
Greene1012
Cocke910
Haywood912
Marshall891
Franklin843
Wayne820
Hickman800
Warren730
Marion704
White703
McNairy690
DeKalb660
Lincoln630
Weakley631
Overton611
Roane610
Grundy591
Giles581
Carter571
Hawkins562
Unicoi550
Campbell481
Carroll481
Henderson450
Polk450
Claiborne440
Henry440
Johnson440
Grainger420
Sequatchie380
Cannon360
Crockett353
Chester340
Perry340
Meigs320
Humphreys271
Jackson260
Morgan251
Stewart230
Decatur220
Fentress220
Union180
Scott170
Clay160
Houston150
Benton131
Moore120
Van Buren80
Lewis60
Pickett60
Hancock40

 

 

Community Events