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Reply #25: Inspector General Report: J. Steven Griles Investigation, March 2004 [View All]

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-30-07 01:26 PM
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25. Inspector General Report: J. Steven Griles Investigation, March 2004
Inspector General Report: J. Steven Griles Investigation, March 2004

In June 2002, our office initiated an investigation after a confidential source alleged that
government contracts had been steered by high-level Department of the Interior (DOI or
Department) officials to a company with which Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles had been
associated. Subsequently, we expanded our investigation to encompass three other concerns
regarding Mr. Griles conduct one by our own accord, one at the request of the Secretary, and
one at the request of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Connecticut).
Our initial investigation focused on a series of Bureau of Land Management ....

Our investigation took approximately 18 months to complete, due, in part, to our inability
to obtain documents accurately depicting the former clients of the Deputy Secretary and the
former and current clients of his former lobbying firm. Lists of prohibited sources in the Deputy
Secretarys ethics file that itemize the clients of his former employer conflicted with actual client
lists we obtained from said former employer. In fact, these client lists even conflicted with the
Deputy Secretarys own statements regarding former clients.

In addition, a list of current clients for the Deputy Secretarys former employer
continues to evolve on a daily basis. We have yet to obtain an accurate snapshot at any given
time of whom the Deputy Secretarys former employer represents or represented. These clients,
many of whom are in the oil and gas industry, also continually merge, change names, and
develop subsidiary companies. Due to these complicated matters, we were often in the
unenviable position of having to depend on the personal recollections of a small group of
individuals. In fact, when we interviewed the Deputy Secretary and discussed our efforts to
discern the status of his client list, he commented simply, Good luck.

We were further challenged during our investigation by an unanticipated lack of personal
and institutional memory; conflicting recollections; poor record-keeping, particularly by the
Departments Ethics Office; the bifurcation of ethics advisors; a lack of reliable written
evidentiary material, and the inadequacy of congressional lobbying reports as evidentiary items.
We also realized at the beginning of our investigation the need to proceed deliberately given the
multitude and complexity of the allegations.
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