The Interior Department’s internal watchdog has absolved Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke after an examination of his handling of a controversial national monuments review.

In a report summary dated Nov. 21, Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said investigators “found no evidence” that a former Utah state representative who owned property within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument had influenced Zinke’s handling of the review.

Kendall’s summary added that there was no evidence that “Zinke or other DOI staff involved in the project were aware of [the Utah lawmaker’s] financial interest in the revised boundaries, or that they gave [him] any preferential treatment in the resulting proposed boundaries.”

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