Democrats want US Interior Department staff moves explained

June 22, 2018 - 5:16 pm
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Democrats in Congress are asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to explain the reassignments of dozens of senior agency officials, most recently Yellowstone National Park's superintendent who was offered an unwanted transfer and then told he'd be gone in August.

A group of 14 Democrats led by U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman of California on Friday asked Zinke for a briefing on the reassignments. They have attracted scrutiny from the agency's internal watchdog over complaints many were politically motivated.

Yellowstone's Dan Wenk said his ouster follows disagreements with Zinke over management of the park's bison.

The Democratic lawmakers said in a letter to Zinke that Wenk had served with distinction and his case fit a pattern of seemingly punitive personnel moves.

Zinke has said he's reorganizing for greater efficiency.

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