Interior official resigns after breaking rules

An Interior Department official who broke federal rules by giving internal documents to lobbyists and special interest groups resigned on Monday.

Julie A. MacDonald was deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks. An investigation by Inspector General Earl Devaney found that she violated federal rules and that she repeatedly edited endangered species reports.

The report said she gave documents a lawyer from the Pacific Legal Foundation, a property rights group that has opposed treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. In another instance, she gave an internal report to a person she met through an Internet game.

MacDonald was to be the subject of a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on May 9. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia), the chairman, said he would continue to investigate political interference with scientific decisions at Interior.

Get the Story:
Interior Official Steps Down Over Rules Violation (The New York Times 5/2)
Interior battle stalls Colo. parks chief's federal nomination (The Denver Post 5/2)
Embattled Interior Official Resigns Post (AP 5/1)

Inspector General Report:
REPORT OF INVESTIGATION: Julie MacDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish, Wildlife and Parks (March 2007)

House Natural Resources Committee Hearing:
Full Committee Oversight Hearing: “Endangered Species Act Implementation: Science or Politics?” (May 9, 2007)

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