Polar bear scientist probe started with complaint

AP News
Posted: Sep 01, 2011 4:15 PM
Polar bear scientist probe started with complaint

An investigation of a federal scientist in Alaska whose observations of drowned polar bears spurred national publicity on climate warming was started after allegations made by another Interior Department employee.

Acting Interior Department Inspector General Mary L. Kendall says her office received "credible allegations from a seasoned, career" department employee that acts of scientific misconduct might have been committed.

She did not name the employee.

The department's Office of Inspector General launched an investigation of Charles Monnett (moh-NAY'), who was suspended in July. He returned to work last week.

Bureau director Michael Bromwich has said Monnett's suspension was unrelated to his scientific work or his paper on observations of drowned polar bears.

Kendall cited the allegations in a letter to U.S. Sen. James Inofe (IN'-hahf), an Oklahoma Republican.