WASHINGTON- In a video posted to the Department of the Interior’s Youtube page Thursday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced he had removed four senior leaders at the department for inappropriate behavior.

The video follows the release of a survey that found 35 percent of DOI employees had been harassed or discriminated against in the past year.

According to a news release, the survey was conducted between Jan. 9 and Mar. 5 of 2017. It included all Interior Dept. personnel as of Dec. 10, 2016. The survey was designed to assess the workplace conditions. More than 28,000 employees responded to the survey.

In that same release, Secretary Zinke said, “All employees have the right to work in a safe and harassment-free environment. I’ve already fired a number of predators who other administrations were too afraid to remove or just turned a blind eye to. Under my leadership, we don’t protect predators. When I say ‘zero tolerance’ I mean that these people will be held accountable for their abhorrent actions.”

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Zinke has also asked bureau and department leaders to submit a formal action plan for addressing the issue of harassment and discrimination. He also says the department has taken some steps already to address the issue.

For the full survey and more details on the steps the department has taken go to the Department of the Interior’s website.


  1. I applaud Secretary Zinke for this action.

    The text of this article misquotes his statement. He did not say “past administrations were afraid or turned a blind eye” to harassment. Writing your opinion of his statements is fine, but stating your opinion as his word is not correct.