The disciplinary actions were part of a year-long effort toward creating more accountability, Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt told employees in a staff email obtained by The Hill.
“From day one, [Interior] Secretary [Ryan] Zinke and I have been committed to leaving the Department in better shape than we found it; this includes addressing employee misconduct and harassment and improving our ethics program,” the email reportedly stated.
Zinke partly blamed the Obama administration for failing to address harassment concerns within the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Interior Department in October of last year announced a plan to fight “rampant harassment within the National Park Service.” Nearly 40 percent of Park Service employees reported some form of harassment over the previous 12 months, according to the report.
Under my leadership we’re going to hold people accountable,” Zinke said in a statement.