September 10, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
Government officials in a program that collects royalties from firms drilling on federal land partied and had sexual relationships with employees of oil and gas companies; accepted lavish gifts including ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings; and steered contracts to favored firms, according to a two-year Interior Department investigation released today.Also, Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept. ,
Investigators said they "discovered a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" in the Colorado office of the program.
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.
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 10, 2008 1:46 PM
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