ProPublica: “Your $20 Million Loan Went Bust? The Trump Team Has a Job For You”

Here. An excerpt:

The IG report concluded that the loan guarantee “departed from” department guidelines but didn’t find any criminal violations. A federal grand jury investigated the episode, according to a spokeswoman for the IG, but did not hand up any indictments.

Still, the fiasco generated criticism both inside the tribe, according to the IG’s report, and outside. Said Arvind Ganesan, the director of Human Rights Watch’s Business and Human Rights Division, who researched the deal as part of a broader report on the Lower Brule Sioux: “It’s pretty disturbing that he’s now in charge of a department that’s being sued over a deal that he arranged and that went so badly.“

Link to Human Rights Watch report on the Lower Brule Sioux issues here.

Link to OIG report here.

Audit of Cooperative Agreement Between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Link: Memorandum

The audit identified a total of $1,440,748 in questioned costs, as well as the need for increased oversight by USBR. OIG offers six recommendations to help USBR resolve the questioned costs and improve its operations with LBST. USBR agreed with all six recommendations and will begin negotiations with LBST to recoup the unallowable costs.

NYTs: Interior Department Corruption Endemic

From the NYTs [Here’s the report]:

WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

“A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency, Mr. Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.

The highest-ranking official criticized in the reports is Lucy Q. Denett, the former associate director of minerals revenue management, who retired earlier this year as the inquiry was progressing.

Continue reading