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Griles blames controversies on Bush opponents

Outgoing Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles is blaming the controversy he encountered during the past three years on opponents of President Bush.

Griles, who announced his resignation yesterday, was a frequent target of environmental groups. They said his past work as a lobbyist for mining and energy companies tainted his work at the Interior Department.

But in an interview with The Washington Post, the former lobbyist says critics "came after me with a political agenda opposed this president at the very beginning." He said he has worked to ensure that "the environment is healthier, the air is clearer, the water is safer and the land is being reclaimed."

Griles was investigated for meeting with former clients while handling issues directly affecting them. He recused himself in an unusual deal that allowed him to receive $284,000 a year from 2001 to 2005 while still being paid his $150,000 annual federal salary.

Griles said he will remain on the job until the end of January or sooner, if a replacement is confirmed by the Senate. He plans to return to the private sector.

Get the Story:
Secretary Norton Praises Leadership of Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles (DOI 12/7)
Interior Department's No. 2 Resigns After Controversial Tenure (The Washington Post 12/8)
Controversial Interior deputy leaving post (The Denver Post 12/8)
Interior deputy is stepping down (AP 12/8)
No. 2 at Interior Dept. Resigns (The New York Times 12/8)

Inspector General Reportt:
J. Steven Griles Investigation (March 2004)

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