Laverty’s status up in the air |

Laverty’s status up in the air

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Lyle Laverty, former director of Colorado State Parks, has not yet been confirmed as assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, Sen. Wayne Allard’s office said Thursday.

The Colorado Republican’s office announced Laverty had been confirmed last week. But Allard spokesman Steve Wymer said Thursday that that announcement apparently was due to “miscommunication” between the Senate floor staff and the senator’s office.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., blocked Bush’s nomination of Laverty last spring over allegations concerning former Interior Department official Julie MacDonald, then a deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. She has resigned.

The Interior Department’s inspector general had rebuked MacDonald for leaking information about endangered species to private groups. She also was accused of pressuring government scientists to make their research fit her policy goals.

Wyden said he was placing a hold on Laverty’s confirmation until he was satisfied MacDonald’s alleged transgressions would not happen in the department again.

Wymer said Allard’s office received notice last week that Laverty’s nomination had cleared but learned this week of questions concerning Laverty’s status.

Wyden’s office could not immediately give the status Thursday of the hold Wyden placed on Laverty’s nomination.

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