Over the last few days, there has been a lot of drama in the news involving the Interior Department, especially regarding reports that have surfaced about some of Secretary Ryan Zinke’s spending habits. In addition to being under investigation for his use of private and military planes for business travel, Zinke has also been accused of unlawfully retaliating against a whistleblower who publicly disclosed information about how climate change is affecting Alaska’s Native communities.
The whistleblower, Joel Clement, resigned on Wednesday after Zinke reassigned him in June from a senior executive position to an accounting job for which he has no previous experience. Clement was among dozens of senior executives who were reassigned, but he was the only one to speak out about it.
The Interior department’s inspector general is now looking into the reassignments to determine whether or not the process was legal.
According to The Washington Post, executives, under the law, must be given “ample notice” of a job switch before it happens. Many of those who were reassigned have said that they did not receive any notice.
Clement’s resignation letter comes just a few days after Zinke delivered a speech questioning the loyalty of several members of his department.
Since Zinke made those remarks, former top Interior executives who served under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have released a letter condemning his comments.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images.