Inspector General Report Slams Former OIA Deputy Secretary

June 7, 2014

Former U.S. Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Office of Insular Affairs, Tony Babauta, was placed on administrative leave in November 2012 and resigned from office in January 2013. He left his position under a cloud of accusations of wrong doing.

The summary of the Inspector General Report released June 4, 2014 states:
"The Office of Inspector General initiated this investigation after receiving allegations that former Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Anthony Babauta may have been directing Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) grants and contracts to friends. We also received allegations that Babauta mistreated his employees through discrimination and sexual harassment, misused Government equipment and personnel, and took personal trips under the guise of Government travel." 
"We found that, against the advice of his staff and grant specialists, Babauta directed the award of two OIA grants to the University of Guam (UOG) to support the Micronesian Center for a Sustainable Future (MCSF). Both grants went to Babauta’s former employer, a UOG senior official, and UOG subsequently hired Babauta’s friend as the MCSF project coordinator. Our investigation revealed that UOG allowed the MCSF project coordinator to expend $32,636.34 in grant funds on unallowable expenses, many of which were of personal benefit to the MCSF project coordinator."
"Interviews with current and former OIA employees support that Babauta made inappropriate comments to employees and conducted himself unprofessionally at times. Babauta had one OIA employee perform work outside the scope of his Government duties. We further found that Babauta resided at the guest house of one subordinate employee for several months without providing compensation. We did not find evidence that Babauta used Government travel for personal gain, but there were certain trips for Government business in which he appeared to benefit personally."
The behavior described in the report is disgusting and unprofessional to say the least. The report paints Babauta as the bully-boss from hell who exploited employees, abused federal funds and gave favors to his friends. Very disappointing.

The case was referred to the US Attorney Office for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in July 2013, but the office declined to prosecute the case.

Babauta released the following unapologetic statement:
“I have reviewed the final investigation report conducted by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General and I am satisfied it reaffirms that my official acts and decisions as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas were legitimate endeavors to improve the quality of life for areas under my responsibility." 
"I acknowledge that there are some appearances of conflicts, but I trusted then, as I do now, that my personal relationships with island leaders had no bearing in how I made a final decision. I consider those of whom I interacted with, and were subjects of this investigation, to be outstanding leaders and faithful public servants. No one worked to betray the public’s trust." 
Read the entire report.

Another statement:


Anonymous said...

He is apprently above Federal law. There's probably a lot of pressure from the Obama Administration to sweep this under the door mat and put this coniving, lying jerk in some other position - hopefully not one where he can abuse his "power". These people are pretty much allowed to do as they please and literally get away with it. No time cards and no accountability just hanging on to that Federal dream job of not having to actually do anything yet get a nice round paycheck. What happened here is the Federal government threw a bucket of water over a fire that was about to spread out of control cause everyone knows there is more to this.