January 30, 2013
From the Post:
His attorney responded to the Loop’s request for comment by sending his client’s resignation letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in which Babauta defended his record, saying he thought he had “improved” the office he ran and that his work had “benefitted my island brothers and sisters.”A January 25, 2013 letter from U.S. House Delegates Bordallo (Guam), Sablan (CNMI) and Christensen (Virgin Islands) sent to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar suggests that Tony Babauta's investigation should be glossed over. It outlined the contributions of the assistant secretary and then concluded:
"Mr. Secretary, in light of Assistant Secretary Babauta's great service to the nation and the Administration, the public awareness of the ongoing process has raised questions, yet we hope that the conclusion of this matter will be on a positive note, recognizing his contributions. We and others very much want him to continue in office, but if he concludes that is untenable and he should move on, his decision should be implemented in a mutually satisfactory, considerate and beneficial manner, and only appreciative comments should be made.Read the entire letter:
Referring to the investigation, the letter states that the delegates "respect this process, and your due diligence." However, the letter also contains concluding contradictory statements that suggest that the delegates want to influence the process. Statements such as "only appreciative comments should be made and "we hope that the conclusion of this matter will be on a positive note recognizing his contributions."
The content of the letter suggests that the delegates were made aware of negative findings in the investigation. Are the delegates suggesting that the outcome of the investigation be kept a secret if it is not favorable to Babauta so that he can be remembered for his contributions rather than being held accountable for any improprieties, however large or small?
Few investigations are initiated without merit or questions. Don't tax payers have a right to know the outcome of any federal investigation?
The delegates appear to know something that the public does not yet know. What is disturbing is that the letter implies that the delegates are appealing to Secretary Salazar to cover up any negative results of the investigation. I would hope that members of the U.S. Congress and cabinet members would support open government.
A January 28, 2013, KSPN News report stated that interior officials have not revealed the outcome of the investigation. Matt Kaye said, "Others knowledgeable about the process speculated Babauta may have resigned only if he was assured the report findings would not be made public or had no conclusion of ethical lapses."
The public has a right to know the outcome of the investigation, whether it is favorable or unfavorable to Tony Babauta. The results of the investigation should be made public so individuals can decide for themselves the merits of the investigation and its conclusion.
More from The Washington Post here.
From The Hill here.