Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt singled out Bureau of Land Management Special-Agent-In-Charge of Bundy Ranch Daniel P. Love after he was fired from his job following a second Inspector General investigation that discovered he was stealing evidence.
Following a report in August from the Office of the Inspector General, which found Love responsible for misconduct a second time, a memo was put forth on Friday by Deputy Secretary Bernhardt to interior employees that also not only referenced Love by also Edwin Correa, another BLM agent who engaged in sexual harassment while serving as a chief ranger at Canaveral National Seashore in Florida.
“We will hold people accountable when we are informed that they have failed in their duties and obligations,” Bernhardt wrote. “Although the law in large part prevents dissemination of the details of actions taken, I am sharing these examples because you need to know that the Department has taken concrete disciplinary action in cases of serious misconduct, including those involving senior officials.”
Bernhardt also said that whistleblowers would receive protection when they pointed out misconduct.
“As it is vitally important for the health of the [Interior] Department that employees disclose misconduct they witness or experience, the Department is committed to protecting those who step forward from retaliation,” Bernhardt‘s memo said. “Therefore, I will also make this clear: the Department must be free from any retaliation or reprisal for reports of misconduct and I expect every leader to ensure this.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
For years, Utah political leaders have been demanding Love’s removal, citing what they say was the BLM’s unwillingness under his leadership to coordinate with local law enforcement. But what cost Love his job turned on pilfering of evidence,wringing coveted access at the Burning Man arts festival for friends and family, pressuring underlings to conceal evidence of wrongdoing and other examples of misconduct documented in two reports released this year by Interior’s OIG.
It was Love’s alleged arrogance toward local law enforcement that rankled Utah leaders. Complaints against his leadership were instrumental in motivating both federal and state legislation that sought to strip federal land agencies of law enforcement authority, including a bill most recently filed by former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz before he left office this year.
While chairing the House Oversight Committee, the Utah Republican lambasted then-National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis for his handling of the Correa matter and other reports of sexual harassment made by parks staff.
“The previous administration turned a blind eye to corruption and promoted a culture of mismanagement at the Department of the Interior,” said Bishop, taking aim at the leadership of former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “I applaud Interior for taking a strong stand and reasserting the basic principle that there are consequences for federal employees who blatantly disregard the law and steamroll elected officials and public trust.”
They want to gag the defense concerning anything that might lend itself to the truth of what actually was taking place with such a criminal as Dan Love leading his people there.
In fact, it was so bad that the FBI, the Metro Police and the Sheriff pulled back because they saw the lawless and reckless behavior of Love.
It’s too bad they didn’t stand up for the American people in a similar manner that was understood by fictional character Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson in the film A Few Good Men when he realized that instead of following orders, he should have done what was morally right.
Now, for the bad news. Barnhardt apparently is not putting any pressure on the Justice Department to see that Love not only loses his job, but is prosecuted to the full extent of the law and makes certain that he will never work in public service again.
We know this because the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah declined to file criminal charges related to evidence mishandling, said spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch, who declined comment about the decision.