Blog: Still no discipline for top officials at OST
"In June 2008, the Department of Interior Inspector General (DOI-IG) issued a report describing how an employee at the Office of Special Trustee (OST) for American Indians steered lucrative contracts to an accounting firm whose principals lavished him with gifts, golfing trips, and a free place to live. But after two longs months, we're still waiting for Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne to decide how to handle the case.

The firm that received the questionable contracts, Chavarria, Dunne & Lamey, LLC (CD&L), seems to have a Svengali-like hold over the agency. Four senior OST employees have been snagged in the scandal so far: 1) Delano "Jeff" Lords, Deputy Special Trustee for Trust Services, 2) Delano's brother, Douglas Lords, Deputy Special Trustee for Field Operations, 3) Donna Erwin, Principal Deputy Special Trustee, and 4) Margaret Williams, Deputy Special Trustee for Trust Accountability.

In fact, this is not the first DOI-IG report on the OST contracting scandal.

At the time, Ross Swimmer, the head of OST, responded by giving slaps on the wrist in the form of ethics training. But the recent DOI-IG report makes it clear that the problem has not been resolved. In an unusually pointed statement, Inspector General Earl Devaney said he is "frustrated by the lack of accountability in this regard...""

Get the Story:
Discipline Awaits for Indian Trust Officials Snagged in Corruption Scandal (POGO Blog 8/27)

Indian Gaming Industry Report,Inspector General Reports:
Investigative Report: Chavarria, Dunne & Lamey (July 2008) | Audit Report: Chavarria, Dunne & Lamey (July 2008) | Management Advisory: Chavarria, Dunne & Lamey (July 2008) | Allegations Concerning Senior Officials of the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (May 2006)

Ross Swimmer Memo:
KRQE Investigation (June 22, 2007)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Swimmer's slap on the wrist at OST (07/11)
Swimmer reviewing latest reports on OST ethics (07/11)
OST officials slammed in investigation -- again (7/10)
Swimmer admits 'mistakes' by top OST officials (7/31)
Ethics issue behind us, Swimmer tells OST (06/27)
OST one of worst places to work in government (5/1)
OST officials rewarded despite questionable record (1/17)
OST pressed on timetable to complete trust reform (01/09)
Accounting firm defends social relations with OST (07/27)
OST contract tied to favors to top officials (7/25)
OST officials awarded $6.6M contract to friends (7/24)