"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'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."
"Several groups, including the Campaign Legal Center and the Campaign for Accountability, as well as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), have questioned Bernhardt’s role in the Interior Department’s push to conduct an environmental analysis of proposed changes to federal and state water projects in California. That effort could free up more water for the Westlands Water District, which serves farmers in California’s Central Valley."
"In a follow-up complaint sent to the clerk of the House, the secretary of the Senate and — for the first time — the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, the Campaign for Accountability (CfA) requested investigations of potential violations of lobbying laws and statements made to the federal government by Wheeler and Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, where he worked prior to joining EPA."
Watchdog Again Calls for Investigation of EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler for Failing to Disclose Lobbying Contacts
On March 12, 2019, CfA called on federal officials to investigate whether Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and his former lobbying firm, Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act by failing to disclose an April 2017 meeting with an Interior Department official regarding the borders of Bears Ears National Monument.
Statement from Daniel Stevens, Executive Director of Campaign for Accountability, on the nomination of David Bernhardt for the position of Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
Watchdog Again Calls for Investigation of House Speaker Tim Moore for Seeking Preferential Treatment from State Agency
On January 14, 2019, CfA again called on North Carolina officials to investigate whether Tim Moore, Speaker of the North Carolina General Assembly, improperly used his position to seek preferential treatment from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) regarding a property owned by his company, Southeast Land Holdings, LLC. Additionally, CfA called for an investigation into whether DEQ officials acted appropriately when they issued a Conditional No Further Action letter to Speaker Moore’s company in September 2016.
"The Campaign for Accountability, which has worked to investigate many Trump administration officials, sent a formal complaint to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Thursday seeking a probe. Grassley’s panel has wide-ranging oversight responsibilities over inspectors general."
On October 25, 2018, CfA asked Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Suzanne Israel Tufts, the Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to replace Department of Interior Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall amid ongoing investigations into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s unethical behavior.