Native American employees of the Department of the Interior were reassigned at a much higher rate than other ethnic groups when Secretary Zinke took over the Department. In June 2017, when Zinke reassigned 33 career employees, almost have of them were minorities. Thirty percent were Native Americans.
The reassignment of Native Americans was far out of proportion to their numbers at DOI, where they make up less than 10 percent of the workforce. A list of the 33 reassigned workers was released after one of them filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Some of the officials are challenging their ouster.
Investigations by the DOI’s Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office into Zinke’s disproportionate targeting of minority employees are ongoing.