For Immediate Release
Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director
Western Values Project
Interior Sec. Bernhardt Attempting Water Giveaway to Former Client
Sweetheart Deal Would Give Bernhardt’s Former Client, Westlands Water District, Major Water Supply in Perpetuity
Whitefish, MT - Western Values Project released the following statement in response to an Associated Press report that Secretary David Bernhardt’s Interior Department is poised to award one of the first contracts for federal water in perpetuity to the powerful Westlands Water District - Bernhardt’s former lobby client:
“Despite Bernhardt’s clear conflicts of interest and his involvement in decisions that are currently under investigation for ethics violations, he can’t stop carrying water for his powerful former client. The flood gates of corruption flow through Bernhardt, who has manipulated scientific studies, prioritized resources, and tasked staff all to benefit a former client at the expense of the public,” said Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director of Western Values Project. “Bernhardt’s level of corruption may only be eclipsed by that of his boss, but that should not prevent Congress from initiating an investigation immediately.”
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Western Values Project brings accountability to the national conversation about Western public lands and national parks conservation – a space too often dominated by industry lobbyists and their allies in government.