Trump’s USGS Chief Violated Whistleblower Protection Law, Watchdog Says

“James Reilly, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, reassigned an agency employee after learning that the staffer had filed a complaint against him.”

“The head of the U.S. Geological Survey violated the federal whistleblower protection law when he retaliated against an agency employee who had filed a complaint about his conduct, according to a new report from the Interior Department’s internal watchdog.

The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General concluded that USGS Director James Reilly had the employee reassigned after learning of the individual’s complaint regarding Reilly’s conduct ― though the report does not detail the content of that initial complaint.

The scathing report, posted Thursday afternoon, comes two days after Trump’s Interior Department publicly boasted of its efforts to hire additional ethics staff in order to “remove the rotten stench from the blatant failure of the prior administration.” The agency has repeatedly blamed the Obama administration for its ethical shortfalls.

As Thursday’s report details, Reilly tried to convince investigators that the reassignment was due to the employee’s inability to work with another staff member and “negative influence” on the office ― claims that that agency staff directly contradicted.”

Jimmy Tobias and Chris D’Angelo report for HuffPost October 29, 2020.

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“Top Interior Official Retaliated Against Whistleblower, Watchdog Says” (The Hill)