A National Park Service (NPS) senior official requested the Interior Department (DOI) make $32,000 worth of design and construction upgrades to an agency-owned housing unit in an attempt to profit from renting out the space as if it were his personal residence, according to an internal report.
A DOI Office of Inspector General (OIG) summary report released Wednesday found that the unnamed NPS official, who served as liaison for two park partners, had “created the appearance of using his public office for private gain” when he requested “unnecessary” upgrades to a park housing unit.
The space in question was a historic townhouse that the employee intended to live in following the completion of $32,000 of upgrades he requested be added to the original renovation proposal, the report found.
While the inspector’s office found that a number of people involved in the construction process didn’t agree with the proposed changes, only one raised their concerns before the project money was awarded. They also found that members on a council tasked with the role to review and approve the proposed renovations had no idea that the senior official was planning to move into the unit.
The OIG said that at the time that the report was created, on Jan. 8, the senior official had decided not to move into the unit and that NPS had delayed the renovations. The summary did not include any indication of a reprimand.