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Advocates Challenge Park Service on Deputy Director Appointment

April 17, 2019, 10:32 PM

The Interior Department short-circuited the Senate’s role in confirming a key political leader at the National Park Service, according to an April 17 complaint from a good government group.

The April 15 appointment of David Vela as the park service’s acting deputy director of operations—the second highest-ranking slot at the agency—comes after several other political staffers have been granted Interior positions without going through the proper congressional procedures, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

The group is a nonprofit alliance of local, state, and federal scientists.

In his new role, Vela has broad powers to oversee ...