“We’ve been tracking Zinke and what he’s been doing at the Department of Interior,” says Daniel Stevens, executive director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Campaign for Accountability. “It led us to look into whether he’s violated any rules or laws.”
"New revelations about Ryan Zinke’s unethical conduct seem to break every day. Whether it’s jetting off on private planes, flying his personal flag over the interior Department’s headquarters, or speaking to foreign hockey players on behalf of a campaign donor, Sec. Zinke doesn’t seem to get out of bed in the morning without running afoul of ethical norms."
On October 11, 2017, Campaign for Accountability called on the Office of Government Ethics to investigate whether Secretary Ryan Zinke violated ethics rules that prohibit federal employees from endorsing private entities. Secretary Zinke’s endorsement appears on the website of a fundraising firm he used for his congressional campaigns.
A watchdog group, the Campaign for Accountability, was among those who asked Interior's IG to investigate. The group said Zinke's Vegas speech "seems to be a special favor provided to a major political supporter of both Sec. Zinke and the president at taxpayer expense."
Government Watchdog Files Complaint Against Interior Secretary for Possible Violations of Hatch Act, Conflict of Interest Laws
On September 29th, 2017, Campaign for Accountability called on the Office of Special Counsel and the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Interior to investigate whether Secretary Ryan Zinke violated conflict of interest laws and the Hatch Act by speaking before the National Hockey League team the Vegas Golden Knights as part of his official duties.
"The Senate Monday confirmed controversial lawyer David Bernhardt as deputy secretary of the Interior -- the number two executive in charge of managing natural resources. The vote passed 53-43."