After an investigation into a National Park Service executive who misused federal funds, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that they will not pursue any charges.
When questioned by investigators, NPS Regional Director, Michael Caldwell, said that he “knowingly violated federal travel regulations” as he used taxpayer funds to pay for several vacations, The Daily Caller reported.
Caldwell went on to admit that he altered travel vouchers to extend work trips into personal vacations that were taken between 2011 and 2015.
A report prepared by the Office of the Inspector General said, “that during these trips he conducted personal travel at government expense, received per diem for meals and incidental expenses on days he did not work, and incurred additional expenses for hotel rooms and oversize rental vehicles so that personal guests could accompany him on trips. These expenses cost the government a total of $11,496.35.”
Caldwell also inaccurately reported that 88 hours of vacation time were work hours. This brought the total cost to taxpayers to $17,480.91.
The IG also determined that Caldwell violated other federal regulations which prohibit employees from accepting gifts from a subordinate. In August 2011 he accepted vacation housing in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from an employee.
Caldwell said he deserved, at minimum, a suspension.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania determined they would not prosecute Caldwell. This decision left any punishment to be given out to Caldwell up to NPS.
Tom Crosson, NPS Chief of Public Affairs, stated that NPS has reassigned Caldwell to work as a special assistant to NPS’ deputy director while the agency completes their investigation to determine if and how to discipline him.
The Daily Caller reported that, “Caldwell, who earned $159,178 in 2015 as a career Senior Executive Service (SES) employee overseeing NPS’ Northeast region, told federal investigators that if everyone in the government worked the way he did, “we wouldn’t get anything done.”
The IG began investigating Caldwell in May 2016 after receiving complaints stating that he used NPS funds to take personal vacations.
H/T: The Daily Caller
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