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Dept. of the Interior Office of Inspector General finds ethics violations by BLM Special Agent Dan Love

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BLM Special Agent Dan Love (photo: BLM Nevada)

In May, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management promoted Special Agent Dan Love, the BLM agent who oversaw security during the agency’s failed roundup of Cliven Bundy’s cattle in April 2014, to a new position overseeing the security of BLM facilities nationwide.

And now, the Dept. of the Interior Office of Inspector General issued a report about Love’s ethics violations at Burning Man and more. The report states:

“We also confirmed that the Supervisory Agent intervened in the hiring process by increasing the number of candidates that would be interviewed. As a result, the Supervisory Agent’s friend, who had worked with the Supervisory Agent as a Federal air marshal received an interview and was ultimately hired as a BLM special agent.
During our investigation, the Supervisory Agent displayed a lack of candor when interviewed and tried to influence an employee’s comments prior to an interview.”

SOURCE: Reno Gazette- Journal

Report: BLM agent broke federal ethics rules at Burning Man

by Jenny Kane

A Bureau of Land Management supervisory agent from Utah violated federal ethics rules after he used his position to get his family and girlfriend into Burning Man and influenced the hiring process for a friend, according to a report released Monday.

The Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General for a year and a half investigated three complaints about the agent. The agent is not named in the report but is described as “the person behind many of the BLM requests” at Burning Man that were canceled in 2015, the report said.

Those requests — which included a more than $1 million VIP compound complete with flushing toilets and 24-hour access to ice cream for BLM officials at the annual event in the Black Rock Desert — were pushed by Utah’s former Special Agent in Charge, Dan Love, who oversaw law enforcement at Burning Man for several years.

The VIP compound was an unprecedented request of Burning Man, the organization that hosts 68,000-person artistic campout over Labor Day weekend in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. When details of the compound leaked to the Reno Gazette-Journal, members of Congress and the public expressed outrage. After the event, Love was reassigned.

Love, who is best known for his chief law enforcement role during the 2014 Bundy standoff, did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday or Wednesday. He is expected to be a key witness in the Bundy trials, according to an article published last year by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The first phase of the trials are set to begin Monday.

Inspector General’s Office officials said that the agent’s name was withheld in the report because he is not a top official within the agency, and because it is considered a personnel matter that BLM officials will handle.

According to the Inspector General’s report, the unnamed agent used his official position to buy three sold-out tickets to Burning Man; had five on-duty BLM officers escorting his father, family-friend and girlfriend during the event; and also changed the hiring process so an unqualified applicant, a personal friend of his, would be hired.

“Federal ethics regulations prohibit soliciting gifts from a prohibited source. Ethics regulations also prohibit federal employees from using any authority associated with their public position for the private gain of friends and relatives,” the report said.

The agent’s visitors also received unauthorized access to the Burning Man headquarters for BLM officials and they received overnight lodging in BLM-leased facilities.

When word spread that the agent had complaints filed against him, he used intimidation to discourage his co-workers from speaking with investigators.

“You know, if you don’t side with me, grenades are going to go off and you’ll get hit,” the agent told an employee who later spoke with investigators, according to the report.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 

 

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