This West Is OUR West

Dear Deputy Secretary Bernhardt

December 29, 2018

Deputy Secretary Bernhardt;

I am writing to you today to follow up on my letter from July 2018 (attached) in which I implored you to do something about your subordinate, BLM/OLES Director William Woody.

Mr. Woody is still in his position of power, and still poisoning your agency.  He has been found guilty of misusing a government vehicle for personal gain by your own DOI Office of the Inspector General – whose very purpose is to weed out fraud, waste and abuse, yet in cases such as these, they need your help. ( https://www.doioig.gov/reports/blm-official-allegedly-abused-travel-and-government-vehicle )

This offense (on top of all the other acts he has committed), require BY LAW a minimum 30 days off without pay.  Please see Title 31, United States Code, Section 1349 (31 USC 1349) for reference.

It is clear to the taxpayers of America that this offense will be swept under the rug by BLM management and either degraded to some other charge that can have reduced penalties, or completely ignored.  You have many eyes upon you hoping you do the right thing and replace Woody with a career BLM LE employee that understands that their job is to accomplish the BLM’s mission and not just line their pockets with the king’s gold.

You and the other leadership in the DOI have a fine reputation for protecting the integrity of your agency.  Please continue that trend and send Mr. Woody off to his excessive, yet legal retirement.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

cc:       Sen Diane Feinstein, CA

            Sen. Mike Simpson ID

            Rep. Mike Noel, UT

            Sen. Mike Lee, UT

            Sen. Mike Crapo, ID

            Free Range Report Magazine

            Redoubt News

            Reno Gazette Journal

            EE News

            This West is our West

            PEER

            Applicable Social Media sites

 

July 28, 2018

DOI Deputy Secretary Bernhardt;

I am writing to you today to ask your assistance in correcting some improper and/or illegal actions being taken in your Department by one of your Senior Executive Service (SES) employees.  I am told that you value integrity very highly, and I hope that you also value the integrity of your leadership as well.

If so, you have a problem.

Your Director of BLM Law Enforcement (BLM/OLES), William C. Woody is under investigation by the DOI/Office of Inspector General as well as multiple members of Congress and media outlets.  While these investigations are still ongoing, there is no doubt that the hardworking employees of the Department would be much better served if you were out in front of these investigations and proactively handling them rather than ignoring them or letting your subordinates cover up for Mr. Woody.

While obviously not an inclusive list, I have been made aware from various sources of numerous allegations of misconduct that are on-going.  I would beseech you to ensure these investigations are thoroughly investigated (I have little doubt they will be) but also handled appropriately when passed down to the BLM Director (I have no faith at all they will be more than covered up without some oversight from Department.  Woody is a very gregarious and popular person – one who is also owed a lot of favors ‘on the hallway’…)

I request that you look into the following DOI/OIG investigations and maintain some form of involvement in how they are handled by BLM.  The employees of the DOI have a hard enough time doing their jobs in support of the public lands without more drama and anti-government sentiment:

  • E002283
  • E002284
  • E002307
  • E002308
  • E002403
  • E002404
  • E002435

These soon-to-be publicly founded allegations cover a wide gamut of misconduct.  From misuse of a government vehicle for person gain (which has a mandatory minimum of a 30 day suspension); to illegal hiring practices; to a promotion of a (supervisory) employee previously found to be drinking on duty (without punishment); to allowing employees to work without disclosing “Giglio” restrictions; to spending literally millions of dollars in public money (BLM funding) for employees working for years on duties completely unrelated to BLM (under tenuous authority at that – i.e. no FLPMA nexus.)

As you so rightfully referenced upon coming to DOI, I offer the following insights into President Bush’s ethics rules ( https://www.doi.gov/ethics/basic-obligations-of-public-service ) and their relationship to Woody’s activities:

1.  Public service is a public trust, requiring me to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles, above private gain.  Woody moving his BLM/OLES headquarters to Salt Lake in order to personally gain from a ‘paid move’ back home to Utah is a prime example of personal gain and calling in favors from BLM and DOI (see referenced OIG investigation).

2.  I will not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.  I would say moving an entire headquarters staff half-way across the county in order to receive a paid move back home is a ‘financial interest’.  His family spends every summer back there and he is admittedly close to retirement – and is not eligible for a paid move at retirement as most SES’ers are.

3.  I will not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest. Woody routinely travels across the country at government expense and uses government time to keep his connections with cronies (how many hours a week does he spend “getting a coffee” with people to get off-line information???)

4.  I will not, except as permitted by the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by my agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of my duties.  It is difficult to believe that all the hunting and fishing trips Woody takes on private land are paid for with personal funds – and/or at full market value!

5.  I will put forth honest effort in the performance of my duties.  Woody will do or say anything to achieve his personal goals.  Honesty is not part of his equation.  Let us not forget that Woody is also that one that hired SAC Dan Love, then encouraged and enabled his outrageous behavior and tactics during Operation Cerberus in the Four Corners area.  SAC Love’s actions only endeared him to Woody and led Woody to protect him from punishment for illegal spending (North Face coats for him and all his cronies on a BLM credit card etc…).  Woody then continued to protect Love and even PROMOTE him.  Once Woody returned as BLM/OLES Director, Love suddenly had a settlement for a ‘special deal’ to get out of his termination.

6.  I will not make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.  Woody routinely promises funding to Sheriffs that are outside his ability to deliver (e.g. are BLM State Office funds, not OLES funds).  Chat with NIFC Director John Ruhs about Woody’s promises to the WSSA last year on that topic.  They had quite the little public argument in front of subordinates over it.  He was actually publicly chastised by the BLM (A) DD John Ruhs in front of the recent Western Sheriff's Association meeting in Reno for offering funding to various sheriffs’ office for goodwill.

7.  I will not use public office for private gain.  Please calculate the cost of his (and staff’s) move to Salt Lake City – an area where we already have excellent relations with the local government – instead of staying in DC or moving to Nevada or southern Utah, where local relations are strained.

8.  I will act impartially and will not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.  Woody hired a GS-15 Public Affairs Officer without competition and then over-ruled his Special Agent in Charge (and hiring panel) in a selection for a supervisor position.  Woody ignored the hiring panel’s selection to hire an agent from USFWS that he has had a personal relationship with for many years (and whose husband is constantly accused of or investigated for misuse of government time, funds and failing to safeguard employees’ HIPPA information.)

9.  I will protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.  Woody lives in Maryland, outside the 35 mile BLM/OLES driving distance for home-to-work transportation using a government vehicle (“take-home” or “domiciled” vehicle.)   He even recently signed off on an updated policy reiterating the 35 mile limit, yet uses his government vehicle (outfitted with police lights and sirens to ease his commute through traffic) to drive from Maryland to DC each day.  Why he even has a personal convenience commuting government vehicle assigned (at nearly $1 per mile) is a serious question to ask.  Has he ever responded to an after-hours incident in the vehicle?  (Do you get a car, free gas and police lights to drive back and forth to work each day?  I sure don’t.)

10. I will not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

11. I will disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to the appropriate authorities, which includes reporting to management or the Inspector General.  Woody has employees that are diagnosed bi-polar and have been “Giglio’ed on the job and actively working in law enforcement positions (and recently involved in shootings…).  Some date back to his first tenure as BLM/OLES Director.  Allowing employees to spend a decade on “Task Forces” where they work almost exclusively on non-DOI cases (while living more than 35 miles from their assigned DEA office) is serious fraud, waste and abuse.  Additionally, his personal relationship with Katherine Smith - the DOI/OIG Deputy for the Personal Integrity Division is quite suspect and she should recuse herself from any matter involving BLM/OLES.  The very person that supervises the people investigating him is his regular ‘coffee buddy’ around MIB…

12. I will satisfy in good faith my obligations as a citizen, including all just financial obligations, especially those—such as Federal, state, or local taxes—that are imposed by law.

13. I shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.  Woody adheres to the regulations that suit him and ignores the rest.

14. I will endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that I am violating the law, the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, Interior’s supplemental Agency ethics regulations, or relevant executive orders. This is most easily facilitated by communicating with the ethics officials within the Department of the Interior, which I will do.  If Woody were complying with all laws, policies and regulations, would all the above referenced violations exist?  I doubt it…..

Cc:      Congressman Raul Labrador

            Congressman Mike Noel

            Office of Special Counsel

            Free Range Report

            RANGE Magazine

            PEER

            Salt Lake Tribune

            Las Vegas Review Journal

 

Ref:     http://www.freerangereport.com/index.php/2018/02/16/despite-history-of-failures-and-corruption-william-woody-back-as-blm-top-cop/

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900019262/utah-sen-lee-targeting-powers-of-blm-forest-service.html

___________________________________________

[i] https://www.doioig.gov/reports/blm-official-allegedly-abused-travel-and-government-vehicle