"Trump’s Interior Secretary Didn’t Violate Ethics Rules, Watchdog Finds"

"An inspector general’s report found no evidence that David Bernhardt had improperly favored a group that once employed him as a lobbyist."

"WASHINGTON — The inspector general for the Interior Department said on Thursday it had found no evidence that the former secretary, David Bernhardt, violated federal ethics or conflict-of-interest rules when the department made decisions that affected one of his former clients, a California water district.

The Interior Department under Mr. Bernhardt made decisions that benefited Westlands Water District, which represents California farmers, including a deal to grant federal water rights in perpetuity to a large agricultural district. Before joining the Trump administration, Mr. Bernhardt spent 10 years as the group’s chief lobbyist.

In a report issued Thursday, investigators said evidence did not support allegations that Mr. Bernhardt withheld information, worked on issues that presented a conflict, or sought to help his former client."

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times January 19, 2023.


"Allegations of Ethics Violations by Former U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Were Not Substantiated" (Interior OIG)

Source: NYTimes, 01/20/2023