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Environmental group files FOIA suit against Interior Dept. OIG

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  1. Freedom of Information
A nonprofit environmental group is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of the Inspector General under the Freedom…

A nonprofit environmental group is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General under the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to documents related to the firing of a high-ranking Interior official and other recent investigations.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) initially requested records related to the Interior OIG’s investigations back in March after the head of the Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement was abruptly fired with little explanation released to the public. A similar lack of detail accompanied other recent Interior OIG investigations despite the fact that the investigations had included interviews of FWS agents and the procurement of evidentiary records, PEER said in a press release.

About a month after PEER filed its FOIA request, the Interior OIG said it would be "unable to respond to your request within the time limits established by FOIA … due to a backlog of requests and other unforeseen circumstances." An appeal to the Interior Office of the Solicitor precipitated a similarly listless response.