Two former MMS officials sentenced to probation
Two former officials from the scandal-ridden Minerals Management Service were sentenced to probation this week in separate cases.

Donald Howard, 59, a former supervisor, pleaded guilty for failing to report a $2,500 hunting trip he received from an oil industry contractor. He was ordered to pay $3,000 in fines and perform 100 hours of community service.

Milton Dial, 60, a former deputy associate director, pleaded guilty for violating federal conflict of interest rules by steering contracts to a contracting company that he later joined. He was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine though the judge handling the case characterized the crime as a minor felony.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has vowed to clean up MMS, which handles over $6 billion in royalties on federal and Indian lands.

Get the Story:
Former Interior Dept. official gets probation (AP 2/3)
Former federal minerals official gets probation (AP 2/2)

Related Stories:
Column: Salazar reviews scandal-ridden Interior (2/2)
Salazar pledges Indian focus at Interior Department (1/29)