‘Net Worth of $0’: Watchdog Goes After Deb Haaland for Potential Financial Disclosure Violations

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testifies before the Senate E
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Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland may have committed financial disclosure reporting violations according to a government watchdog that filed a complaint with the department’s inspector general.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed a complaint calling into question Haaland’s Form 278e financial disclosure that reported having “no bank account and essentially zero assets” while she made an annual salary of $174,000 and lived in a million-dollar residence — a scenario PPT says “strains credulity.”

This is not the first time Haaland has had issues with financial disclosure, as she was required to file several addenda to her financial disclosures as a member of Congress.

In 2021, her financial disclosure reported a net worth of zero dollars — a form submitted after marrying her longtime partner who reported assets between $970,000 and $2.125 million. In addition to those assets, the couple also has two residences including a $1 million New Mexico home.

“Under the circumstances, the absence of a bank account on her financial disclosure raises many questions,” the PPT press release on the complaint said. “What was happening to her paychecks?”

“Most employers, including federal employers, normally require direct deposit of employees’ wages,” the release continues. “Did DOI ethics officials notice this anomaly and question the Secretary about it? If her paychecks were being deposited in another type of account, would that not require that account to be reported?”

It appears many political appointees at Interior have issues with ethics violations.

PPT has also filed complaints against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning over possible false statements to Congress, the Interior inspector general has confirmed an investigation into BLM Deputy Director of Policy and Programs Nada Culver, as well as former Deputy Solicitor Daniel Cordalis for participating in actions that could benefit his former employer and wife’s current employer, among others.

“If the Biden Administration is to live up to its promise to be the most ethical and most transparent in history, it would be prudent for Secretary Haaland to go above and beyond the bare minimum reporting requirements,” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain said in a press release. “While there are many Americans in difficult financial straits who do not themselves have a bank account with at least $5,000, it is hard to imagine someone in Secretary Haaland’s situation being among them, particularly given more recent filings showing she has been living with a millionaire for years.”

“Even if she complied with the letter of the law in her required reporting, her disclosures hardly seem to reflect her true circumstances, and neither she nor the Department seemed anxious to clarify the record,” Chamberlain continued. “And merely complying with the letter of the law does not seem to comport with the administration’s constant refrain of being the most transparent ever.”

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


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