December 22nd, 2008
An editorial in a Connecticut newspaper highlights one federal employee’s role in allegedly politicizing the Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service.
“Julie MacDonald’s reign of malfeasance at the Interior Department ended 1Â½ years ago. But her legacy of politically tainted decisions survived, and owes much to an agency culture that cries out for an overhaul â€” a culture she instilled.
Ms. MacDonald was a senior Bush political appointee with no scientific training who served as deputy assistant secretary overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service. She resigned in May 2007 after investigators found she tampered with scientific evidence, improperly removed species and habitats from the endangered species list, and forwarded internal documents to oil industry lobbyists and property rights groups. Seven of Ms. MacDonald’s rulings had to be revised.
Now a new investigation finds evidence of Ms. MacDonald’s political fingerprints on at least 13 of 20 other questionable rulings by the agency.”
Editorial: An Endangered Federal Agency (The Hartford Courant 12/20)