Feds Probing Gale Norton For Corruption: LAT | TPMMuckraker
Did Gale Norton, President Bush's far-right interior secretary, illegally use her position to benefit an oil company that later hired her? Justice Department investigators want to know, reports the Los Angeles Times.
In a nutshell, here's what DOJ is looking into:
In January 2006, Norton's Interior Department awarded three oil shale leases on federal land in Colorado -- potentially worth hundreds of billions -- to a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. Two months later, Norton resigned, saying she had no job lined up. But later that year, she was hired by Shell as in-house counsel.
The Feds are said to be looking at whether Norton broke either of two laws: One which prohibits federal employees from discussing employment with a company while that company is involved in dealings with the government that could benefit it; and a second, the "denial of honest services" law, which makes it a crime for a government official to "violate the public trust" by, for instance, giving contracts to friends or associates.
"If [Norton] had feelers out, or was in discussions with Shell in any way, she is absolutely forbidden from participating in any way from doing anything with Shell," a law enforcement official told the LA Times.