February 25, 2018
Perhaps most disturbing of all, however, is the lack of official notice that Dan Love has actually been fired by the BLM. Yes, he was relieved of his position as SAC in Utah and Nevada, but there is nothing indicating that he has been dismissed from the agency, or that charges will brought against him. By all indications, BLM’s thugocracy is still intact.
By Marjorie Haun
Part II: BLM’s thugocracy lives on
As we reported last week, William C. Woody, a spendthrift of questionable character, has been shuffled from director of law enforcement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) back to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where he was previously director of law enforcement from 2003 to 2012. Reports place him in southeastern Utah on June 10, 2009, the day Operation Cerberus Action culminated with several military-style raids on private homes in the Four Corners area. Four men took their lives in the aftermath of the raids, yet, not one person was ever convicted as a result of the antiquities sting. Dan Love, the disreputable and dangerous BLM agent made infamous for his role in the Bundy Ranch debacle, served under Woody at the time and was instrumental in setting up and executing Operation Cerberus Action. Love was present during the inhumane interrogations of Blanding physician, James Redd, who took his own life the morning following the raids.
Woody later praised Dan Love and subsequently named him BLM Law Enforcement Agent of the Year for 2009. Love was lauded as a hero in a report published by the BLM marking its law enforcement ‘successes’ for that year. Ironically, the report praised Love, whose subsequent activities nearly destroyed the reputation of the BLM, and who is now regarded as the poster boy for federal overreach and corruption, saying, “Special Agent Love’s exemplary effort on this investigation has brought great credit upon him and the BLM.”
The 2009 BLM Law Enforcement Year End Review, which so glowingly praised the raids executed under the leadership of Woody and with the help of Dan Love, failed to mention the names of those who lives were lost to this overwrought display of federal aggression.
The leaked whistleblower document cited in our previous report contains descriptions of gross overspending and numerous ethical lapses on the parts of Woody during his term as FWS law enforcement director. Many of these instances were recounted in our previous report, but below we have listed additional whistleblower allegations:
Woody’s misapplication of government funds, cronyism, inflated salaries for pet agents (pp 23-24 of leaked whistleblower letter)
Sometime in 2009/20 10 Woody used government funds so Keith Aller who at the time was the Deputy Chief of BLM Law Enforcement in Washington, could be move back to Portland, OR for retirement purposes. Aller worked the remaining year of his career in Portland, OR as the SAC for the Oregon State Office, so he didn’t have to pay the government for his move expenses.
Woody is increasingly concentrating OLE Special Agents into the higher pay grades of the Criminal Investigative GS-1811 series, mirroring other federal law enforcement agencies (DEA!FBI/ICE) without making his employees take on greater duties and responsibilities. Upon Woody’s arrival he is in the process of upgrading all GS-12 Special Agents to the GS-13 salary level and all GS-13 RACs to the GS-14 salary level. The percentage of employees in grades 13 to 15 – the highest three grades before reaching the executive ranks, increased some 500%. These inflated grades and the higher salaries that come with them, unnecessarily cost the cash strapped government/OLE at a time when it can least afford waste.
Woody’s protection of compromised agents (pp 34-35, 37-38)
In 2007 Assistant Special Agent in Charge Juliana Scully (Region2) became the Chief, Division of Law Enforcement. While stationed at headquarters Scully was investigated (2009) by the DOI-OIG who determined that Scully had lied in an official administrative investigation. Mowad who at the time was Scully’s immediate supervisor didn’t terminate Scully.
Why did Woody recently create a GS- 15 special project position for Scully? Because as a member of the Good Old Boy network she can continue to work and be eligible for a full law enforcement retirement annuity when she turns fifty in October 2013. Moreover, Woody and his predecessors have violated OPM policy because Scully is a Type One Diabetic and all Type One Diabetics for that matter are prohibited from occupying law enforcement positions because of the medical implications of being a Type One Diabetic.
In Amato’s case, he was initially hired by the OLE in 1998 as a Special Agent (primary position) and stationed in Baltimore, MD. Within twenty months he was promoted to the Resident Agent in Charge (secondary position) for Baltimore, MD and has continuously worked in a secondary position. Like Amato’s predecessors, Woody continues protect Amato so Amato will ultimately illegally collect an enhanced law enforcement retirement annuity.
Amato is but one of the Special Agents who has accepted gifts (food, lodging, travel, etc.) from foreign governmental agencies in relation international travel, who has failed to report said gifts in violation of 5 USC § 7342. Amato who routinely travels overseas (Kenya and later Doha, Qatar in 2009/20 10) is but one of many Special Agent who are in noncompliance. Sometime in 2012, Woody finally placed Amato on administrative leave, but the question remains will Amato be given a slap on the wrist or will he be terminated.
Woody’s crony “Circle of Eight” living high of the hog on taxpayer dollars (pp 42-43)
Woody has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and allowed the OLE to be run as an inefficient operation by corrupt bureaucrats who live on bloated paychecks. OLE Special Agents upon retirement leave office rich capitalizing on their positions.
When the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress were proposing agencies to cut their budgets, Woody and the Circle of Seven were giving all the Special Agents pay raises, by raising raise the journeymen pay grade from a GS-12 to a GS-13 and all RAC positions from a GS-13 to a GS-14. Woody effectively circumvented Congresses’ two-year pay-freeze measure.
Nor did Woody miss a beat of misusing public funds when in 2011, he created a new regional office in Sacramento, California (Region Eight), thereby appointing Jill Birchell the SAC (GS-15 – 916.414.6660) and Daniel Crumb the ASAC (GS- 14) and a countless number administrative positions. Now the Circle of Seven is referred to as the Circle of Eight.
In yet another example of circumventing Congresses’ two-year pay-freeze measure, Woody created a SAC (GS-14) position for the newly created Digital Evidence Recovery and Technical Support Branch. Woody being enamored by USSS selected former USSS Special Agent Edward J. Lewis as the SAC, who at the time was stationed at the OLE headquarters as a GS- 13 desk officer…
Just like the Bell California elected officials, Woody and many of the Circle of Eight should be terminated or prosecuted for misappropriating millions of dollars. Woody and the Circle of Eight have a character flaw. As managers they are driven by materialism and in the process they have lost their ability to self govern themselves.
If at the end of your career you have been a loyal crony of Woody’s or the Circle of Eight you will rewarded for your allegiance and promoted in order to enhance ones high-three years of employment. In other instances cronies are moved at government expense to a geographic locality where the they intend to retire. In the later example if the crony works one year in his last duty station, he/she doesn’t have to reimburse the government for said moving expenses…
Woody and the Circle of Eight believe they can treat public funds like Monopoly money. Even as the public deals with double-digit unemployment and inflation eating into their paychecks, Woody and the Circle of Eight creatively finds a way to boost the salary and pension of the members of the Good Old Boy Network.
William C. Woody now holds the position of Director of Law Enforcement and Security for the BLM, but the man who filled that position while Woody was at FWS also deserves scrutiny. Salvatore Lauro, who served as BLM top cop between 2012 and 2017, is now serving as Woody’s Senior Advisor. Like Dan Love and Woody, Lauro is also named in whistleblower documents, including the letter issued by BLM agent Larry “Clint” Wooten exposing numerous lies, Brady violations, and extreme biases related to the Bundy Ranch prosecution. During Love’s years as Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of BLM law enforcement operations in Utah and Nevada, he was under Lauro’s supervision. The Bundy Ranch raid, the Burning Man debacle, Love’s theft of the moqui marbles, his destruction of evidence, and his involvement in workplace harassment and extreme misconduct occurred during those years.
Two references to Lauro’s questionable conduct appear in the Wooten letter. He apparently gave Dan Love free rein within the agency: Wooten wrote (pg 8)
I became convinced that the previous BLM OLES (Office of Law Enforcement Services) Director. Salvatore Lauro not only allowed former BLM SAC (Special Agent in Charge) Dan Love complete autonomy and discretion, but also likely provided no oversight and even contributed to an atmosphere of cover-ups, harassment and retaliation for anyone that questioned or reported former BLM SAC Dan Love’s misconduct
Lauro had full awareness of lawlessness within the agency, and was involved with protecting perpetrators and coverups: (pg 11)
The investigation also indicated that former BLM OLES Director Salvatore Lauro likely gave the former BLM SAC (Dan Love) complete autonomy and discretion without oversight or supervision. The investigation further indicated that it was unlikely that the BLM OLES Director wasn’t aware of the BLM SAC’s unethical/unprofessional actions, poor decisions, misconduct, and potential crimes. My investigation and personal observations in the investigation further revealed a likely unethical/unlawful “cover-up” of this BLM SAC’s actions, by very senior law enforcement management within BLM OLES. This investigation indicated that on numerous occasions, senior BLM OLES management broke their own policies and overlooked ethical, professional and conduct violations and likely provided cover and protection for the BLM SAC and any activity or operation this BLM SAC was associated with.
Most significantly, Salvatore Lauro is mentioned numerous times in two explosive investigative reports by the Interior Department Office of Inspector General (OIG). The first of these reports relates primarily to Love’s misconduct during the 2015 Burning Man event in Nevada. It appears that Love and Lauro were aware of the unethical and illegal activities recounted in the report:
Lauro knew of Dan Love’s unethical actions at Burning Man 2015: (pgp 1,7 OIG report)
We interviewed BLM OLES Director Salvatore Lauro who stated that he took no action when he saw the Supervisory Agent (Dan Love) use ATVs and BLM personnel to transport his (the Supervisory Agent’s) family. In addition, Lauro knew the Supervisory Agent allowed his girlfriend to share his BLM overnight lodging accommodations during the event.
We questioned Lauro about the Supervisory Agent’s use of BLM’s law enforcement officials and Government procured vehicles to transport the Supervisory Agent’s family and give them a tour of the Burning Man event. Lauro acknowledged that he saw a BLM Subordinate Supervisory Agent driving the Supervisory Agent’s family members during the event and stated that the Supervisory Agent told him his family was coming and that his girlfriend was staying in the trailer. He denied knowing that the BLM law enforcement officers riding nearby were a security escort, as well as whether the vehicle that a BLM Subordinate Supervisory Agent drove was a leased BLM ATV or belonged to the Sheriff’s department.
Lauro enabled Love’s cronyism: (pg 10)
Lauro stated that he did not know if the Supervisory Agent and the individual hired as a BLM Special Agent were friends when the man was hired, but he assumed that the Supervisory Agent probably knew the applicant since both worked for FAMS. He also did not know if the Supervisory Agent halted the hiring process so that the individual would receive an interview. When shown the Resume Summary and the various other hiring documents that the BLM OLES Official provided, Lauro said that he would never interview 30 people for a position and hoped that the Supervisory Agent had a good reason for his decision.
Love bragged about ‘owning’ Lauro: (pg 15)
The BLM OLES Budget Analyst said the Supervisory Agent told her that he was going to ruin the BLM Law Enforcement Ranger’s career. He bragged about ruining a BLM State Ranger’s reputation with BLM State Directors and other managers. She said that shortly after the Supervisory Agent changed positions, he had bragged to her that “he owned” Lauro and the BLM OLES Official and that, as a result, no action could be taken against him.
OIG report on Love’s theft of federal evidence
Sal Lauro received and kept three moqui marbles (evidence in federal theft case) from Dan Love: (pg 5)
Sal Lauro, the former OLES director, told us that shortly after he briefed his then-supervisor, BLM Deputy Director Steven Ellis, about the OLES moqui marble case, he received three marbles. He was certain the senior manager gave them to him but could not recall whether he did so in person, by mail, or via a coworker.
Subordinates who were ordered by Dan Love to destroy evidence were afraid to convey the information to Lauro because of the ‘close’ nature of their relationship: (pg 8)
The subordinate told us he felt morally wrong about deleting the emails, but he did not discuss his feelings with the senior manager. He stated that he was “not going to tell a senior law enforcement [manager] no” because he felt that doing so might jeopardize his employment. He also said the senior manager was very intimidating, manipulative, and controlling, and he did not believe he could report the matter to Lauro or other OLES officials because the senior manager was “very, very close” to them.
Lauro and Woody are among a number of Interior Department senior staffers whose positions have been shifted in a recent shake up. Lauro was asked to switch positions with Woody and take over as OLE director at FWS, but refused, preferring to stay with the BLM, despite having to take an advisory position under Woody. Perhaps most disturbing of all, however, is the lack of official notice that Dan Love has actually been fired by the BLM. Yes, he was relieved of his position as SAC in Utah and Nevada, but there is nothing indicating that he has been dismissed from the agency, or that charges will brought against him. By all indications, BLM’s thugocracy is still intact.
Despite the fact that it’s almost impossible to dislodge career federal employees from their jobs and pensions, the evidence is overwhelming that Lauro, Woody, and their protege; BLM bad boy Dan Love, are unworthy of the trust and authority that Americans afford law enforcement officers.