William Perry Pendley, the sagebrush rebel-turned acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, has identified nearly five dozen organizations, companies and individuals that will trigger his recusal from decisionmaking, according to his ethics filing.
The 17-page recusal list ranges from the American Exploration & Mining Association and the Colorado Farm Bureau to the Petroleum Association of Wyoming and the town of Taos, N.M.
Pendley shared his recusal list with BLM employees in an email sent this morning.
"I understand that preserving a culture of ethical compliance within the BLM begins with me, and I must set the example for the Bureau," Pendley wrote.
Pendley added in his note to employees that "before discussing a particular matter with me, I ask that you consult the recusal agreement to ensure that it is not a particular matter involving specific parties from which I am recused."
A former president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, Pendley has also recused himself from the courtroom fight over shrinking the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the Interior Department’s Ethics Office noted in recent court documents.
Organizations suing over President Trump’s decision to downsize the monument had argued for his recusal, citing his previous legal work on the case (Greenwire, Sept. 24).
In most instances, Pendley’s recusal agreements require that for the next two years he "not participate personally and substantially in particular matter(s) involving specific parties that are directly and substantially related" to the listed entity.
In some cases, as with Taos, the recusal agreement lasts one year instead of two.
Some recusals cover former employers or interests he advocated for, including the Mountain States Legal Foundation and Garfield, Kane and San Juan counties in Utah.
One recusal relates to his stock portfolio, as he is blocked from dealing with any "particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect" on the financial interests of SiriusXM.
"I have also established a rigorous screening process to ensure that I will remain in full compliance with the advice of the [Ethics Office] and my agreement in all meetings, matters, and communications," Pendley advised BLM employees.