IG Looks Into Zinke Travel
The Billings Gazette reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke failed to keep complete records of his taxpayer-financed travel, hampering an investigation into his use of private charter flights for government business. Interior’s Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said her investigation has been [quote] “delayed by absent or incomplete documentation for several pertinent trips, and a review process that failed to include proper documentation.” [end quote]
Investigators have reportedly found that documentation and adherence to department policies are “deficient and without proper management oversight and accountability,” according to Kendall’s two-page memo to Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Investigators also have been unable to determine the full extent to which Zinke’s wife, Lolita, accompanied him on official travel. Zinke has brushed off reports that he took private flights costing taxpayers a total of $20,000, saying all his travel is ethical.