hooker & bribes: interior employees accused in sex & gift scandal

hooker & bribes: interior employees accused in sex & gift scandalfrom mcclatchy: Interior Department officials, while handling billions of dollars in oil and gas royalty payments, engaged in illicit sex with industry employees and accepted meals, drinks, ski junkets and golf outings from major oil companies, internal investigators reported Wednesday.

Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney’s release of three reports (196kb pdf), which stem from a $5 million investigation dating to 2005, implicated at least 19 current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service in unethical relationships with industry, frolics that included marijuana and cocaine use.

hooker & bribes: interior employees accused in sex & gift scandal The reports raised new concerns about the management of programs that collect $8 billion in annual revenue from offshore and onshore mineral leases. Democrats seized on the report to bolster their efforts to counter growing pressure to open up more areas to oil drilling.

The allegations of illicit and unethical behavior detailed in the inspector general’s report are directly related to the energy debate taking place in the Congress this week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said. “Little did we know how cozy the relationship between Big Oil and the administration’s regulators have been.”