by Texas Nate, Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:01:10 PM EDT
Jerome and I have been blogging about ongoing corruption at the Dept. of Interior's Minerals Management Service for almost a year now.
Its been pretty hard to get many people to focus on this scandal of "a lack of oversight, deficient procedures, and cozy industry ties between MMS officials and oil and gas companies have created a system that allows the companies to systematically underpay the federal government" -- despite multiple ongoing congressional investigations and evidence that oil companies have underpaid more than $750 million in royalties.
But something tells me this story is about to get a lot more coverage:
The alleged transgressions involve 13 Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. Their alleged improprieties include rigging contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants, and having sexual relationships with _ and accepting golf and ski trips and dinners from _ oil company employees, according to three reports released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general.
Between 2002 and 2006, nearly a third of the 55-person staff in the Denver office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found.