As oil leaked, Interior Dept. official rafted with wife

Though the Obama administration has stressed its involvement with the April 20 BP oil spill since “day
,” at least one Interior Department
official decided instead to phone it in and go white water rafting in
the Grand Canyon with his wife and other officials.

Tom Strickland — who serves as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar‘s chief of staff and the department’s assistant
secretary for fish, wildlife and parks — traveled to the Grand Canyon
on official business on April 27, three days after the oil leak was
initially discovered.

Beth Strickland paid her own way on the trip and the couple joined officials from the National
Park Service
, the Grand Canyon Association and other foundations
that support the Park Service, according to Interior Department
spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez.

The trip focused on Grand Canyon management issues, including water flows, beach erosion and endangered species, but Strickland remained in
“constant contact by satellite phone with Interior HQ as well as Fish
and Wildlife Service and NPS operations in the Gulf,” Rodriguez said in
an e-mail.

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Srinidhi Boray

Need Fed accountability and hence so very importantly “auditing” as much as it is desired in Wall St Reform.

Amanda Blount

OK we don’t know the whole story. This may have been a very important meeting which was planned months in advance. There were plenty of people all over the oil spill, why cancel an important meeting if you are not really needed right away? And his wife paid for her trip… so there was nothing wrong with that. I don’t know the guy, so I just don’t know what to say, but with all the big-wigs watching porn all day, I think I will give this guy a break.