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Rep. Doc Hastings says newly obtained documents show Kendall actually played a role in developing the report and that she participated in key meetings.

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Inspector General under investigation in drilling ban

Rep. Doc Hastings says newly obtained documents show Kendall actually played a role in developing the report and that she participated in key meetings.

Lawmakers are investigating whether a top government investigator was involved in producing a report that erroneously suggested certain scientists approved a drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The moratorium cost thousands of jobs throughout the region and created a decline in energy production. Seven members of the National Academy of Engineers later rebuffed the action.

The target of the probe, Mary Kendall, the Interior Department’s acting inspector general (IG), told a House oversight panel in 2010 she was not investigating the error because it was the subject of a lawsuit.

“I was not involved in the process of developing that report, and I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it,‚?Ě Kendall told lawmakers.

The IG later revealed that the White House was involved in editing that specific language but blamed it on a drafting error.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, says newly obtained documents show Kendall actually played a role in developing the report and that she participated in key meetings.

“This apparent involvement also raises new questions about the acting IG’s independence and impartiality in conducting the investigation of the drilling moratorium report, whether it was appropriate for her to oversee this investigation in the first place, and whether she should have disclosed her involvement and recused herself from all matters concerning the investigation,‚?Ě Hastings said.

Kendall told USA Today she attended the meetings but only as “an active listener.‚?Ě

“I was not an active participant in these meetings,‚?Ě Kendall said.

Schedules show Kendall was a “required invitee‚?Ě to meetings discussing the peer reviews, and in emails she described that work as “enormously impressive.‚?Ě

 

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Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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