Ethics

Watchdogs Submit New Evidence Revealing that Interior Secretary Violated Ethics Rules to Benefit Former Client

On November 12, 2019, CfA and Western Values Project, a Montana-based nonprofit conservation group, submitted additional evidence to ethics officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Office of Government Ethics showing U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt continued to work with his former lobbying client, Westlands Water District, through at least July 2017, which is longer than was previously known.

Rep. Scott Plakon hid real estate holdings, ethics complaint alleges

"The complaint was filed by Dan Stevens, executive director of the Campaign for Accountability, with the Florida Commission on Ethics. It cited property records, court filings and other documents to show Plakon bought and sold several properties in Seminole, Lake and Volusia counties that never showed up on his annual financial disclosure forms."

Watchdog Files Ethics Complaint Against Florida State Rep. Scott Plakon for Failing to Disclose Real Estate Empire

On November 4, 2019, CfA called on the Florida Commission on Ethics to investigate whether Florida State Representative David Scott Plakon violated the Florida Constitution and state ethics laws by failing to properly disclose information about his myriad business interests on his personal financial disclosure forms.

Watchdog Calls on Susan B. Anthony List to Remove Pittsburgh Businessman Robert Kania from Board of Directors

On April 17, 2019, CfA sent a letter to the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), an anti-abortion advocacy organization, calling for the removal of businessman Robert J. Kania, Jr. from his position as treasurer of SBA List and its affiliated entities: the Susan B. Anthony List, Inc. Candidate Fund and the Women Speak Out PAC.

Interior IG to Review CfA’s Request for Investigation into Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s Relationship with Former Client

On April 2, 2019, CfA announced that the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of the Interior confirmed it is reviewing CfA’s request for investigation into Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his relationship with his former lobbying client, Westlands Water District, an agricultural conglomerate in California.

Interior’s watchdog opens an ethics probe into Bernhardt four days after his Senate confirmation

"In a letter to the executive director of one of the groups, the Campaign for Accountability, Inspector General Mary L. Kendall wrote that her office 'received seven complaints, including yours, from a wide assortment of complainants alleging various conflict of interest and other violations by then deputy secretary of the interior, David Bernhardt.'"

Watchdog Again Calls for Investigation of Interior Nominee David Bernhardt for Lobbying Disclosure Violations

On April 5, 2019, CfA again called on federal officials to investigate whether Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and his former lobbying firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the False Statements Act by failing to disclose Mr. Bernhardt’s apparent lobbying in connection with Westlands Water District (Westlands), an agricultural conglomerate in California. New documents indicate that Mr. Bernhardt continued to work for Westlands through April 2017 despite formally withdrawing his lobbying registration on November 18, 2016.

Bernhardt pushes ethics reforms amid complaints

"Bernhardt's ethics memo yesterday also happened to come on the same day the Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit watchdog group, announced that Interior's Office of Inspector General confirmed it is reviewing a request for investigation into Bernhardt and his relationship with his former lobbying client, Westlands Water District in California."

Get the latest news and actions

Sign up for updates