Monday, January 30, 2017
We investigated allegations that a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) supervisory agent used his official position to provide preferential treatment for family members attending the 2015 Burning Man event in Nevada. The allegations also indicated that the agent intervened improperly in a 2015 hiring process for a special agent position that facilitated the hiring of his friend instead of other qualified applicants.
We found that the agent violated Federal ethics rules when he used his influence with Burning Man officials to obtain tickets and special passes for his family. He also directed on-duty BLM law enforcement employees to escort his family in BLM-procured vehicles, drove his BLM vehicle with his girlfriend, and directed his employee to make hotel reservations for his guests. We also confirmed the supervisory agent’s intervention in the special agent hiring process to benefit a friend.
We forwarded our report to the U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management for action, and we received a response from the Assistant Secretary.