Interior Official Contacted Former Employer, Violating Ethics Pledge: IG

“An unnamed senior political official at the Interior Department twice violated their ethics pledge through contact with a scientist working for their former employer, according to an internal watchdog report.

The department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), however, did not find evidence that the official used the interactions to benefit themselves, the company or the scientist. It determined that the government employee “acted under the mistaken belief that communications involving scientific data were permissible.”

However, their actions did violate the ethics pledge spearheaded by President Trump in the early days of the administration, which bars political appointees from contacting their former employers for two years, the watchdog found.”

Rachel Frazin reports for The Hill June 12, 2020.