An inspector general report on the Lake Charles, LA, office of the Minerals Management Service found that inspectors accepted a free trip to the 2005 Peach Bowl paid for by an oil company.
The report (.pdf), released today in response to the Gulf Coast oil spill but not directly connected to it, also found “numerous instances of pornography and other inappropriate material on the e-mail accounts of 13 employees, six of whom have resigned. We specifically discovered 314 instances where the seven remaining employees received or forwarded pornographic images and links to Internet websites containing pornographic videos to other federal employees and individuals outside of the office using their government e-mail accounts.”
The report focuses on Bush-era events, all before 2007.
Regarding the trip to the Peach Bowl paid for by an oil exec, one MMS inspector explained to investigators that he knew it didn’t look good, but “he was a ‘big LSU fan,’ and he could not refuse the tickets.” More:
Carlos Kibodeaux, owner of Contract Operator Production Services, an offshore production service company, told investigators that he had been the offshore manager of Production Management Incorporated from 2004 through 2006. He acknowledged that an MMS inspector and his daughter and another MMS inspector and his wife had accompanied him and his ex-wife to the 2005 Peach Bowl game. He said two of his friends had six tickets to the game but could not go, so they offered him the tickets. Since his friends owned the plane, they also told him they would drop him off in Atlanta and pick him up after a planned trip to Miami. Kibodeaux said he accepted the tickets and invited the two inspectors, the two biggest “LSU” fans he knew. Contrary to the inspector’s statements, Kibodeaux indicated that collectively, he and the two inspectors gave the pilot $150 for fuel. Kibodeaux also said everyone paid for their own rooms, and he paid a total cab fare of $30 for the group.
One serious charge made by a confidential source to the IG is that “operating company personnel completed the inspection forms using pencils, and MMS inspectors would write on top of the pencil in ink and turn in the completed form.” That has been highlighted by the New York Times. However, the IG investigators were not able to substantiate the charge after reviewing 556 files in search of pencil markings.