Horse News

Key Interior Staff Leaving Zinking Ship

Source: Western Values Project

“Their boss goes on a trip abroad, and within two weeks two key Interior staff who are part of Zinke’s inner circle have left the department…”

Last week, E&E News reported that Downey Magallanes, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s deputy chief of staff for policy, is leaving Interior to work in the private sector. News of her departure comes just days after reports that another key Interior staffer, Vincent DeVito, former counselor for energy policy, is also leaving the Department. The departures come as Secretary Zinke is on a mysterious trip to Turkey.

Statement from Western Values Project Executive Director Chris Saeger:

“Their boss goes on a trip abroad, and within two weeks two key Interior staff who are part of Zinke’s inner circle have left the department. These departures add to the questions already swirling about the scandal-plagued Secretary, his recent travel, and how he is managing the Department of Interior. How much longer will Secretary Zinke be gone, and will any of his inner circle remain by the time he gets back?”


On Friday, August 16th, Secretary Zinke was spotted in the Turkish Airlines lounge at Dulles International Airport, and later boarded a flight to Istanbul. According to a Politico source, the secretary was on personal travel. The Department of Interior has refused to comment on his whereabouts.

While at Interior, Downey Magallanes oversaw Interior’s controversial monuments review which resulted in the slashing of two national monuments and the largest rollback in public lands protections in American history. Magallanes’ father was previously a Vice President at coal giant Peabody Energy, and although he said Magallanes would recuse herself from issues involving Peabody, she met with company representatives at least once. Interestingly, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which President Trump gutted as a result of the review Magallanes helped lead, is “coal-rich.” Interior’s Bureau of Land Management recently released draft resource management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, which includes a report that highlights the development potential for coal, oil, gas, uranium and other materials in the areas taken out of Grand Staircase.

Vincent DeVito was Ryan Zinke’s Political Action Committee’s treasurer-turned-Interior counselor for energy policy. While DeVito was Treasurer, Zinke’s PAC came under Federal Election Commission scrutiny for campaign finance discrepancies. While at Interior, DeVito oversaw the Royalty Policy Committee and met and corresponded frequently with industry groups and lobbyists, including American Petroleum Institute, Western Energy Alliance, and Independent Petroleum Association of America, among others.

9 replies »

    • Thank you RT and Carol for keeping us informed about this (what I call) corruption.

      I know government corruption is not new and not limited to any single political party but I wonder how many politicians would still be standing tall if all the dirty ones were eliminated from our government?

      Here is the word I learned today: Kleptocracy
      Kleptocracy is a form of political corruption in which the ruling government seeks personal gain and status at the expense of the governed, literally meaning “the rule by thieves.”


  1. Kleptomania: kleptomania |ˌkleptəˈmānēə, -ˈmānyə|


    a recurrent urge to steal, typically without regard for need or profit.


    kleptomaniac |-ˈmānēˌak| noun& adjective
    ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Greek kleptēs ‘thief’ + -mania.


    klep·to·ma·ni·a (klĕp′tə-mā′nē-ə, -mān′yə)

    A psychiatric disorder characterized by an irresistible impulse to steal things even though there is no personal or financial need for them.

    [Greek kleptein, to steal + -mania.]
    klep′to·ma′ni·ac′ (-nē-ăk′) n.
    klep′to·ma·ni′a·cal (-mə-nī′ĭ-kəl) adj.

    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He’s made it into a Superfund site while simultaneously gutting the EPA.

      Also have to wonder at Zinke’s venom towards the female protester in Steamboat Springs. He vilified her for “not serving” her country (without him having any idea if she had or had not), yet DJT avoided the draft more than half a dozen times by some reports, and wraps himself in our flag without any such criticism by Zinke. Why? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, after all.

      Honk if you think swamps are getting a bad rap.

      Liked by 1 person

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