Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Rocky Mountain News: Former Norton deputy under investigation

EXTRACT: Norton… who recently started doing legal work for Shell Oil Co.’s energy exploration division in Colorado, last year defended Griles and said she had no knowledge of CREA’s interactions with Abramoff.

THE ARTICLE

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are focusing on J. Steven Griles, once top deputy to former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, in an ongoing investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Washington Post reported this morning.

Sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the newspaper that Griles faced possible criminal charges of making false statements during his sworn testimony to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2005.

At that hearing, Griles downplayed e-mail records suggesting that an Abramoff associate had offered him a job, and he denied taking any actions to help Abramoff’s tribal lobbying clients.

Last year, the Indian Affairs Committee released a report that said it found no evidence of wrongdoing by Norton.

Still, the report raised questions over Griles statements and actions. It also questioned the veracity of one-time Norton associate, Italia Federici, who ran a group called Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy. The group took an estimated $500,000 from Abramoff’s clients around the same time Abramoff was asking for Federici’s help arranging meetings with Griles and other Interior officials.

Federici has said there was no connection between her actions and the contributions to the group.

Norton, who recently started doing legal work for Shell Oil Co.’s energy exploration division in Colorado, last year defended Griles and said she had no knowledge of CREA’s interactions with Abramoff.

“I was in a position to see whether Steve influenced any decisions to favor Abramoff — and I did not see Steve take any step in that direction,” Norton wrote in an e-mail to the Rocky Mountain News. “More broadly, Steve did not play any significant role in Indian gaming decisions.”

She also dismissed one of Abramoff’s reported claims: that he played a role in getting Griles his job at the Interior Department.

“I worked with Steve during the Reagan administration,” Norton wrote. “I had admired and respected him for over 15 years, and I did not need any outside influence to know I wanted Steve to be my deputy. Abramoff played no role, and this claim just shows how much he exaggerated his bragging

January 10, 2007

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “Rocky Mountain News: Former Norton deputy under investigation”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: