#1 BLM misconduct probe may derail Bundy Ranch standoff trial by algernonpj 06.02.2017 13:42


BLM misconduct probe may derail Bundy Ranch standoff trial
Agent in charge at Bunkerville, Nev., standoff is implicated in Burning Man investigation
By Jenny Kane and Robert Anglen, USA Today Network

An investigation accusing a federal agent of misconduct and ethics violations could derail one of the most high-profile land-use trials in modern Western history.

Jury selection is scheduled to start in a Las Vegas federal courtroom Monday for a series of trials in which 17 cattle ranchers and self-styled militia members face charges for their roles in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff against Bureau of Land Management officials.

But a Jan. 30 report by the Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General appears to raise serious questions about the BLM special agent in charge of operations during the standoff, who is expected to be a key witness for the government in the case.

The report, which does not identify the agent by name, cites ethical violations that occurred in 2015 at the annual Burning Man event in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

Federal investigators said the agent wrongly used his influence to obtain benefits for himself and his family members at Burning Man, abused federal law-enforcement resources and intimidated other BLM staff to keep quiet about his conduct. They also accused the agent of manipulating BLM hiring practices to help a friend get hired.

“I’m sure it is him. If it is Dan Love, first of all we will file a motion to dismiss. … He is the primary figure in the government’s case. He put together the plan. He negotiated with (the Bundys).” Bret Whipple, Las Vegas attorney representing Cliven Bundy


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