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Probe: US Interior official used office for personal gain

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Billings, Mont. – A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get a family…
Billings, Mont. – A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get a family member hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press.
The Interior Department’s Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for Domenech’s son-in-law when he was seeking a job at the agency.
Investigators said Domenech also appeared to misuse his position to promote a second family member’s wedding-related business to the same EPA official, who was engaged at the time.
The AP obtained the report detailing the investigation in advance of its public release.
It’s the second finding of ethical violations in six months against Domenech, the agency’s assistant secretary for insular and international affairs. Investigators in December found that he broke federal ethics rules by twice meeting with his former employer, a conservative Texas-based policy group, to discuss legal disputes between the group and the agency.
The contacts between Domenech and the EPA official began at a concert at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia in the fall of 2017.

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