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The Interior Department is playing hardball with its claim that a Democratic staffer with the House Appropriations Committee harassed and bullied a top agency official.
Interior chief of staff Todd D. Willens has asked the House Ethics Committee to look into the actions of appropriations staffer Peter Kiefhaber, who was booted out of an Interior meeting in Reno, Nevada, after confronting Amanda Kaster, the acting chief of staff for the Bureau of Land Management.
The article goes on to state the following:
At the Aug. 26 meeting organized by Interior, Willens said Kiefhaber blocked Kaster from entering because he did not know who she was.
In a letter to the ethics committee, Willens wrote, “Kiefhaber’s actions that day made Ms. Kaster feel intimidated and unsafe.” And, said Willens, “He compounded his inappropriate behavior by subsequently denigrating Ms. Kaster, dismissively describing her to the media as a ‘minder.’”
Willens said that Kiefhaber’s actions broke the House Code of Conduct and must be investigated. The appropriations committee has denied the claims against him.
The ethics committee wouldn’t comment on Interior’s demand, and nobody from the committee has responded to Interior, said the department.
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