Interior Watchdog Reviewing Allegations Of Bernhardt Ethics Violations

"The action comes days before a key Senate panel votes on David Bernhardt’s nomination as the next agency head"

"The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General is reviewing allegations that acting secretary David Bernhardt may have violated his ethics pledge by weighing in on issues affecting a former client, the office confirmed Tuesday.

The move comes as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is preparing to vote Thursday on whether to confirm Bernhardt as the next interior secretary, after which his nomination is expected to advance to the Senate floor.

At least two outside groups and two Democratic senators asked the agency watchdog to look into Bernhardt’s effort to weaken protections for imperiled fish species and to expand California farmers’ access to water, even though he once lobbied on behalf of a massive agricultural water district that stood to benefit from the changes. The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets reported on aspects of Bernhardt’s work."

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post April 2, 2019.

Source: Washington Post, 04/03/2019