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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 500286

Reported Deaths: 9968
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34281537
DeSoto32039402
Hinds31911626
Jackson24466379
Rankin21971390
Lee15501235
Madison14566279
Jones13825242
Forrest13438250
Lauderdale11984316
Lowndes11003188
Lamar10510135
Pearl River9494237
Lafayette8542139
Hancock7727126
Washington7418157
Oktibbeha7139131
Monroe6765176
Warren6679176
Pontotoc6655102
Neshoba6625206
Panola6511131
Marshall6460134
Bolivar6302148
Union601294
Pike5815152
Alcorn5662101
Lincoln5431134
George496579
Scott472198
Tippah468381
Prentiss466581
Leflore4654144
Itawamba4628105
Adams4584119
Tate4579109
Copiah447792
Simpson4440116
Yazoo443687
Wayne439172
Covington428694
Sunflower4235105
Marion4225107
Coahoma4154104
Leake408088
Newton381679
Grenada3703108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359492
Attala331089
Jasper329565
Winston314091
Clay307676
Chickasaw299467
Clarke292194
Calhoun278945
Holmes267887
Smith263350
Yalobusha233347
Tallahatchie226851
Walthall218763
Greene218248
Lawrence212440
Perry205256
Amite204755
Webster202646
Noxubee186440
Montgomery179456
Jefferson Davis171442
Carroll168738
Tunica159439
Benton148438
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132237
Humphreys129238
Franklin119428
Quitman106428
Wilkinson104839
Jefferson94434
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 815989

Reported Deaths: 15311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1144621915
Mobile723961330
Madison52114694
Shelby37488348
Baldwin37167547
Tuscaloosa35013606
Montgomery34031734
Lee23177245
Calhoun22190476
Morgan20719376
Etowah19774497
Marshall18277302
Houston17333411
St. Clair15967339
Cullman15365292
Limestone15270198
Elmore15126284
Lauderdale14205294
Talladega13783276
DeKalb12598260
Walker11142369
Blount10132175
Autauga9910146
Jackson9819182
Coffee9190191
Dale8874185
Colbert8803201
Tallapoosa7063198
Escambia6755130
Covington6695184
Chilton6608161
Russell626659
Franklin5947105
Chambers5563142
Marion4966126
Dallas4902200
Clarke474083
Pike4722105
Geneva4567126
Winston4493103
Lawrence4286117
Bibb423686
Barbour356576
Marengo337489
Monroe330863
Randolph328263
Butler325396
Pickens314182
Henry311865
Hale310688
Cherokee301660
Fayette291379
Washington251151
Cleburne247160
Crenshaw244075
Clay241268
Macon231763
Lamar219547
Conecuh185753
Coosa179439
Lowndes174464
Wilcox167839
Bullock151644
Perry138440
Sumter132038
Greene126244
Choctaw87827
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Columbus
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Our stretch of dry weather will briefly be interrupted with rainfall chances through mid-day Thursday, but it’s hardly the only chance for rain for we have going forward.
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