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MMS Chicks Drilling for Dollars and Drugs

Given the new report exposing sex, drugs and other wild times at the Interior Department's federal oil and minerals revenue agency, the burning question in Washington today is: which tawdry men's magazine will be first to publish a "Women of the Minerals Management Service" spread?

A story in in today's Washington Post paints a picture of an agency run amok with employees boozing it up, toking it up, teeing it up and snorting it up with representatives from the big oil and energy companies, from which the Minerals Management Service collects billions of dollars in royalties annually.

An Interior Department inspector general report discovered a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" in which agency workers took free golf trips and other gratuities from executives of Shell, Chevron, Hess and Gary-Williams Energy. They drank together, smoked pot, snorted cocaine and even had sex, according to the IG report. The hardest partyers at the Minerals Management Service earned the nickname "MMS Chicks."

Those MMS chicks are wild, indeed. One agency employee named in the IG report (note: we are withholding her name) sells sex toys on the side.

The report says she "bragged that she made more money with this business than her salary" at MMS. But at least she did it on the up and up. Investigators found she requested approval from her bosses to engage in outside employment with Passion Parties, Inc.

The same MMS Chick admitted to having intimate relationships with two oil industry employees, including a "one-night stand" with a Shell employee (which she told investigators she didn't consider to be inappropriate because one-night stands, in her opinion, are not personal relationships).

She also admitted to having "a hit every once in a while." (Yes, you got it, smoking pot.)

The IG report cites one email from a Shell Pipeline representative to a royalty agency employee, asking her to attend a tailgating party at a football game: "You're invited...have you and the girls meet at my place at 6 am for bubble baths and final prep. Just kidding." In a previous email, which the IG report said was "laden with sexual innuendo," the Shell employee wrote, "We've always provided the patrons with beer on demand, but the ever-depleting supplies have dwindled beer storage to dangerously low volumes on occasion...Although it's a given that the horsemen will indeed 'bring the meat to the table.'"

So we wonder when we'll see that lad mag cover blaring: MMS Chicks Bare All... Drill, Baby, Drill! Any bets?

But much, much more serious than selling sex toys and having one-night stands is the charge leveled in the IG report that the former director of the Minerals Management Service, Gregory Smith, forced a subordinate to perform oral sex on him.

From the report:

"This employee stated that Smith 'took the long way' between the two businesses, and during the drive, he asked to go to her nearby home, but she refused. 'He wanted to have sex; I said no,' she recalled. Smith then asked if she would have oral sex with him, but she told him she did not want to. She said Smith then 'basically forced [her] head into his lap,' and she performed oral sex on him while he drove the car slowly. She said that she resisted Smith when he pulled her head into his lap, but Smith did not relent and continued to pull her head down. She said Smith was 'real persistent' but not violent and she did not feel as though she had been sexually assaulted by Smith. She stated that it was difficult for her to have sex with Smith because he supervised her and RIK, but she 'felt like [she] could get fired,' so she did what Smith wanted. She said she was 'scared' that if she did not do what Smith wanted her to do, it could possibly affect her employment. She said this was the only time she had ever had sex with Smith."

According to the Post story, written by Derek Kravitz and Mary Pat Flaherty, "Smith, who now works for a private oil company in Denver, did not respond to requests for comment. His lawyer, Stephen Peters, said that he has not read the report but that the allegations about drug use and sexual liaisons "sound very much embellished and fabricated."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  September 11, 2008; 3:08 PM ET
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How many of these are Bush administration appointees and how many are career MMS civil servants? It's an important question in my book.

Posted by: Jim | September 11, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if it is true that the actual candidate that bumps off mutual opponent of both parties will win in November? Apparently the opponent exposed corruption within both parties and is specifically targeted.

The question is how... For example, will the GOP use a Guiliani-like mob ties such as his protege Bernard Kerik was indicted with 140 years of jail time? Will the Dems use an OJ Simpson-like convict with jail time instead? Will both parties use the popular law enforcement community practice of 'sweetheart exchange deals' where crimes/murders are committed in exchange for less penalty on their behalf?

And do we have to worry about our family's safety having shared this detail now? Will my husband be targeted and murdered during his daily jog after work in Hackensack and Bogota, NJ around 4pm today? Especially since all our habits and plans are known in advance due to bugging devices implanted both in public and private?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This isnt even interesting. We have become such a boring and austere society that something this lame can grab the headlines.

Posted by: lame | September 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Bush appointees don't do such things. They are all to busy praying.

Posted by: DJR | September 11, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Jim wrote: "How many of these are Bush administration appointees and how many are career MMS civil servants? It's an important question in my book."

Why, what difference does it make except a political agenda? Did Bush force them to this scandal? Using this logic makes the voters for Bill Clinton accountable for the "Monica" scandal with the waste of time and resources that was. I want my money back!

Posted by: Jack | September 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I get this is the precedent that is set when you have the President of the USA, Bill Clinton, getting away with this type of thing.

Posted by: Dylan | September 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: anonimaly | September 11, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Damn! I am never involved in anything like this....where, oh where did I go wrong?

Posted by: High Times | September 11, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The Cake is a Lie...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"Bush appointees don't do such things. They are all to busy praying." Yeah, praying that the trail doesn't lead back to any higher ups in the administration.

Posted by: Joey | September 11, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ah come on america, like you didn't know this goes on behind closed doors, with your money, and then they scrutinize us with a microscope. What do you think goverment workers do, work? Come on now its one big great game paid for by your kids who will get saddled with the bill one day. Welcome to the plutocratic government..its old but it blows!

Posted by: michael hall | September 11, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Disgraceful, but typical of the Bush culture of corruption. One of the most crooked and evil administrations in history will come to an end in January, but what will succeed it? More Republicanism, or a real change?

If this isn't an indication of a need for a new President from a new party, nothing is. No wonder some people on the GOP side have been so eager to 'drill, baby, drill!'

Posted by: windom1 | September 11, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

is there record of professional exploitation, deal-making, lax regulation?

thats all thats newsworthy

Posted by: me | September 11, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Well how sexist...can't we see the faces of these oil exec all over the news so their families will know what fine and upstanding republicans they are?

Posted by: basementfrog | September 11, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

God bless America ...

Posted by: Greg | September 11, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Did it occur to you that by providing the where and when of your husbands jog, you've implicated yourself should anything happen?

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | September 11, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Why does it have to be that every single time someone mentions a scandal in the Bush administration that someone else has to mention Bill Clinton? I do not care what Bill Clinton did -- two wrongs do not make a right. Did or did not Bush campaign specifically on the pledge that he would "restore honor and dignity to the White House" and that his administration could not afford even the appearance of impropriety? Clinton is a sleaze, but Bush is a hypocrite. You don't have to guess which is worse in my book.

Posted by: Sparky | September 11, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Lots of finger pointing. Please report on who the associations were with. The report only added a longer list of oil companies. BTW: This would make for a good TV series. I'm tired of lawers and doctors, I want oil execs and goverment puppets. Anyone remember the ratings J.R. Ewing got?

Posted by: The Finger | September 11, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thus far I've seen no story or detail that indicates Republican party or bush involvement in any of this. Indeed, many of the "suspects" are rank and file hires, most hired predating the Bush administration. The RIK department was established a decade ago, during (wait for it) the Clinton administration.

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | September 11, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering what Neil Bush had been up to lately....

Posted by: Babs | September 11, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The executives of Shell, Chevron, Hess and Gary-Williams Energy are just so attractive the agency employee's just couldn't resist.

Posted by: godschoosen | September 11, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Peter | September 11, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The executives of Shell, Chevron, Hess and Gary-Williams Energy are just so attractive the agency employee's just couldn't resist.

Posted by: godschoosen | September 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Does this change the gas mileage rating on a Hummer????

Posted by: Peter | September 11, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't ever recall seeing this much corruption, at every level, in the US government. There seem to be scandals daily.

Posted by: Steve in Austin | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Not every agency employee is party affiliated. Worker bee's aren't dumped and reconstituted everytime the White house changes occupants. Indeed, demographically speaking, most of those drawn to "government jobs" are most likely Democrats!

The next time your down at the post office, or the social security administration, or the airport in security, take a look around. Many thoughts will occur to you, but Republican probably isn't one of those.

Posted by: Ed Devine | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of hyped up nonsense this is. Oh my Gawd...does she sell naughty sex toys!! So what!! What a bunch of hypocritcal puritains all these news agencies are. Gee...I wonder if we would find any inner office sex, drug use, or naughty drinking at the Post, or Times, or any other office or news agency in the nation? This is just another bunch of gossip nonsense. Really...nothing better to report on?

Posted by: Get A Life | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

That's it! If they can smoke the sweet leaf so can I. Did anyone get the dealers name and #?

Posted by: dunite2000 | September 11, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Your tax dollars "hard" at work.

Four more years of Bushtopia and the headline will read ....

MMS Chicks Bare All... Still Drilling! Still Hot! Drill! Baby, Drill!

Posted by: Butch | September 11, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

In response to Jim, my guess would be that the higher level managers are presidential appointees and the lower level would be civil service hires. Of course, the hires are made by the appointees and are often larded up with people of the "right" political views.

In answer to Jack, who questions the relevance, I'd say several things: first, it goes to the question of holding the current administration to account for basic competence of administration of govenmental affairs, and, second, there should be a through review of the contracts that these bozos worked on to see if there have been any sweet heart deals. The Bush administration has, unfortunately, had a long record of stonewalling investigations in almost every department. The wheels of justice grind slow, but I suspect that eventually some of these folks will go to jail. I also suspect that there's a couple of empty cells close to Jack Abramoff!

Posted by: Keith | September 11, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

While I'm sure this scandal will have some political ramifications in the upcoming election, I am more interested in what affect, if any, it will have on the upcoming Congressional measure to expand offshore drilling. Should we still pass a bill that will increase the amount of oil drilled in the US while the agency responsible for overseeing such drilling has been revealed to be in Big Oil's pocket? What kind of oversight will they realistically be able to perform? Obviously, the government is not getting all of the royalties it is entitled to at the moment, and that is a large chunk of non-tax revenue that could be going to pay for any number of programs. I have a feeling that this might just put that bill on the back burner until we can get this mess sorted out.

Posted by: Timothy | September 11, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Why is this shocking? We've always known Republicans are in bed with Big Oil?

Posted by: Mblack1 | September 11, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, Greg Smith isn't an Bush appointee. I don't think he was an appointee at all, but rather a career gov't employee who moved up the ranks. According to his bio he started with the USGS in 1980 and the Minerals Management Service since its inception in 1982. He moved to his current position in 1999, which would have been under Bill Clinton.

Lucy Denett (the boss) is also a career politician. I believe she ascended to the post of "Acting Director" in 2002 with the retirement of her predicessor. She had been Associate Director since at least 1999. (Gleaned from going thru the MMS press release archives looking for her name & title).

The lower levels were all standard civil service people, not political appointees.

Posted by: Charles | September 11, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

After all the criminal attrocities commited by Big Oil, and particularly Texan Big Oil, this is the scandal that hits the news? Really, lets stat with the Gulf war(s).

Posted by: Dave the Bogan | September 11, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse


I don't care what you do on your own time, but I sure as hell want the corruption and the rape of our treasury to STOP.

Real bunch of patriots........PROBLEM IS, THIS AMORAL, GREEDY, DROIDS AREN'T EVEN ASHAMED......TIME TO drain the cesspool.

Posted by: values voter | September 11, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Blow, dough and ho's. I've got to re-evaluate my job. I think we left early to see a baseball game once....

Posted by: Ben E. Hanna | September 11, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is spouting off against Bush but no one has any facts. Perhaps it would be good to check how long these career employees were on the job before Bush got into office. These were not administration jobs and they were not hired by Bush. They were hired through the regular government job application process. Probably a lot of 10-20 year employees trying to hang on (or is it hung over) to get a pension and thought they would have a good time doing it. You are the typical Bush/Clinton haters who blame anything on them because it make you all tingly inside when you vent without being responsible for your words.

Posted by: Nubby | September 11, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is its sick. We send our "boys & girls" to the middle east to protect our (really the Bush regime/family and friends) oil interests, so that the United States Government employees who work in oil here can literally screw around. Completely indictive of the current administration. Anyway it sounds like the people who really got screwed were the US Troops and pretty much every US citizen. If the USA doesnt already look like buffoon that we are, than this behaviour cetainly "nails it" (pun intended). Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? No, Home of the Buffoons, once again courtesy of this administration (special interests?). Oh, Hail America, the Republicans trash this great country of ours every chance they get. I know what the rest of the world thinks of us (not much, they used to be afraid of us, and now they simply laugh and shake their heads) but I wonder what our "Founding Fathers" would think of the current administration...

Posted by: Me | September 11, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. I get to pay $3.50 per gallon of gas, so the MMS beurocrats can go Wenching, and have free beer and cocaine. Sorry for the Logical Fallacy but Hells Bells, when are we going to be done with the corperate, and social whoring, I mean Zwellfare in this country. We have a helluva alot of work to do.

Posted by: Thunderlump | September 11, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Ed Weirdness: here's an idicator for you.

Lucy Q. Denett was the former associate director of minerals revenue management, and recently retired due to criticism from this report.

PauL A. Denett is current Administrator at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Formely, he was Counselor to OMB’s Deputy Director for Management, Director of Administration & Senior Procurement Executive in the Office of the Secretary for the Department of the Interior (DOI), and Vice Chairman of the Government-wide Procurement Executives Council (PEC). Paul A. Denett's wife is named Nancy.

What are the odds?

Posted by: Rhett Orrick | September 11, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Sexual relationships with prohibited sources cannot, by definition, be arm's-length,"

Speak for yourself Old Man!!! Depends on how long your arms are.

Posted by: Mike | September 11, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Could anyone define what exactly "is" means? Bill, Bill! Are you going bi-party on us?

Posted by: landrum | September 11, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I had no idea the Interior Department was such a fun place to work.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Just so we are clear
The Justice Department (Bush Appointments) has refused to press charges when there is clearly a case. WHY wont they press charges? I am going to say that the Coke sniffing antics of these guys WERE then also Bush appointments. They have certinly broken ethics codes and some laws, like forced sexual conduct for starters. I am also going to guess that the secratary was however a democrat!

Posted by: Alexander | September 11, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Denver office of a federal (civil service) bureaucracy...not Oval Office. The left-wing nut-jobs see Bush behind every bush...why bring Clinton into it when the words "sex scandal" or "government corruption" pop up? You're kidding, right?

Posted by: Uncle Bill | September 11, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"How many of these are Bush administration appointees and how many are career MMS civil servants? It's an important question in my book."

Its a very good question. None of these jobs appear in the Plum Book, so it looks like they're career civil servants.

Posted by: Anndandale | September 11, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm working at the wrong office.

Posted by: rob | September 11, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Dylan said:
"I get this is the precedent that is set when you have the President of the USA, Bill Clinton, getting away with this type of thing."

Well, you can't argue with that logic.

Posted by: John S. | September 11, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I thought I'd already heard every possible "Blame Bush" screech, but this is one tops nearly all! There are hundreds of thousands of federal serious!
So being, this could not happen at a more inopportune time, with Congress about to debate off-shore drilling. I guarentee the Dems will try to take advantage---even though the answer is to simply clean house at MMS...
Even more seriously, what drugs is the Hackensack-Bogota jogger's wife on? That's one pathetically sick woman.

Posted by: James from Norwood | September 11, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, girls, for setting the "equal rights for women" movement back a few decades. The conversation will inevitably turn toward the issue of women and men working together in the workplace, and cast suspicions on women in any role containing the word "relations" Just what kind of "relations" are they having? Are companies engaging in "Pubic Relations" with potential clients/payors?

Yeah, this is a particularly fishy can of worms they've opened.

Posted by: centralnjbill | September 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like at least one holdover from the Clinton Administration.

At least he didn't suggest that she "Put some ice on that."

Posted by: Rufus | September 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The higher-ups in government agencies are usually loyal Bushies otherwise they would not be allowed to get those cushy jobs. I have no problem with a government employee selling sex toys on the side, but I have a real problem with them accepting gifts and money, and partying with the people from the industries they are supposed to be reguating. To the person who tried to bring up the Clinton sex scandal: You really are a complete moron. The nature of the activities are completely different. One involved illicit sexual activities between two consenting adults with no conflicts of interests. The other involved improper relationship between regulators and representatives from the industries they are supposed to be regulating. This is corruption in the highest scale. If you still cannot tell the difference, there is no hope for you.

Posted by: idiots are blinded by their partisan politics | September 11, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

And all this time, I thought Google and Cartoon Network were the places to work...damn this college education and moral compass of mine!

Posted by: Heather | September 11, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I have a GREAT idea.

All of you folks who are worried about this happening "on your dime" (guv'ment time and money)....

Let's just get RID of the guv'ment. Sell all the guv'ment land to private landowners, and get rid of the guv'ment holdings. No Materials Management Service. No Interior Department. No taxes. No bureaucrats.

Just us, like it should be.

How about it?

Posted by: No Guv'ment | September 11, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

let's give one of them the death penalty and you will see the entire Government employees start working without blinking.... :)

Posted by: Fernando | September 11, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have been saying all along that the Republicans are in bed with the Oil Companies.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It's sad to see people who are placed in positions of responsibility manage to corrupt their charges. Whoever is elected will need to go in and clean up the mess and conduct a thorough accounting of events. I believe both parties, Democrats and Republicans, share responsibility for falling asleep at the wheel.

Posted by: CarefulAnalyst | September 11, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

There has to be a real problem at DoI for this to have happened for such a long time. If the DoI Secretary got no hint of this until now, his chain of command to MMS is dead and if its dead then so is the DoI Secretary for not having the management structure with the required integrity.

Posted by: TDK | September 11, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I am so disgusted by all of this. While big oil and part of the Bush administration were partying we are paying prices that are unimaginable causing people to lose complete control of their budgets. The other part of the story is the speculation report just released.

All in all, I would be first in line to watch every one of these people get hung. I would love to see them twitch and gasp for their last breath of life. At least they will feel what all us ordinary folks feel everytime we pull into the gas station or try to heat our homes.

Posted by: morningowl | September 11, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sad I just wasted 5 minutes of my life reading this article and the replies. What is wrong with me?

I'm so sick of you left and right wing head cases spouting off about everything. Shut up and vote your party line already. You cancel each other out and the real decision gets made by the moderate, independant votes with more brains than either of your so called parties.

The extreme either way sickens me. Republican extremists are retards and Democrats are so full of themselves they go on and on when Bill Clinton was doing the same stuff IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

Shut up

Posted by: So Sad | September 11, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

No, "idiots are blinded...", the Clinton "sex" scandal was about perjury, subornation of perjury, and obstruction of justice before a grand jury in a federal sexual harassment case. Billy didn't face impeachment, actual disbarment and the payment of fines for "illicit sex."

Posted by: Uncle Bill | September 11, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Dear Nubby and Chris,

Whose job is it to monitor government employees? The current adminsitration or past? (once again, republican's living in the past...yawn...)

And illicit activities are ok, cuz "everyone else is doing it"?

Oh and Chris, to set the record straight, I LOVE men, I'm a Woman, I hug trees, I'm a Democrat and I'm HOT, Maxim hot!

Clearly, you are a conservative misogynist narrow minded animal killing punk a$$ who cant think for himself because YOU'RE A SLAVE TO YOUR DADDY'S POLITICS and tight cheeked views.

History lesson: Liberal is Latin for: "free, not a slave".

Posted by: Liberal is Latin for: | September 11, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

What is the address for me to send my resume to?

Posted by: Robert | September 11, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

When I think of oil and mineral rights, I think of Alaska. Do you think Sarah Palin knew this was going on?

Posted by: Alaska Governor | September 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Doin' a heck of a job, Gregory.

Posted by: bobbyjay | September 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Corruption in the oil industry between private and public sectors? Shock! Horror!

If this article upsets you, then vote for change. Don't use childish insults and don't re-hash the same low-brow language so often babbled by the pundits on your television.

Simply vote for change like the adults elsewhere around the world. It's not complicated.

Posted by: Ralph | September 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, vote to change the Denver MMS office staff!

Posted by: Uncle Bill | September 11, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

A republican is trying to blame this on Clinton. Hey moron, who was president for the last EIGHT friggin' years????????

Gee, I wonder why republicans have zero credibility. Could it be because they have been caught in WAAAAAY too many blatant lies?

Posted by: FrankD | September 11, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Gregory Smith had been working for the federal gov't for 28 years. I am willing to bet that almost none of these positions.

Also, in 2006, House Republicans started an investigation into this after so questions were raised.

This isn't a current or past president/administration problem, it was a problem with the office in Denver, nothing more. In my opinion, everyone that can be found to have had some part in this should be fired.

Posted by: Steven | September 11, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that the Bush Administration is so full of this kind of trash. "ALL OF THE TIME".

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Palin will get their vote because, hey, she's just like us!

Posted by: Zeety | September 11, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Last post, I meant that almost none of the positions are appointed and have been held for several years.

Posted by: Steven | September 11, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Lord Acton

The typical two responses here are: we blame the presidential administration or joke about how we wish we could have been a part of it!

Some of us are willing to turn a blind eye because we know and are honest enough to admit we would take advantage of a situation like this if we knew we could get away with it. Others are quick to blame their political or moral opponent. But very few of us are willing to band together and create a critical mass capable of demanding change.

This is the core issue of our country today. we are catching up with the rest of the world in regards to commonplace corruption, scandal, and abuse of power. What we haven't had and are in desperate need of is a revolution of power.

We need neither social communism (democrat) nor exploitative capitalism (republican), but responsible management and accountable authority who effectively utilize our resources and power to benefit our nation and the nations of the world.

The MMS should be turned upside down and all these people who have accepted gifts and engaged in illegal activities on the job should be fired without severance. If they are not responsible enough to work ethically and follow the law while managing our resources, they do not deserve such a job.

Posted by: Darren | September 11, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This is just indicative of the corruption that has found a home in the Washington setting. Dems and Reps share the blame. We, the public, have an equal blame for continuing to reelect those that only serve themselves. Where have all the honest public servants gone? Term limits across the board is the only solution. The bureaucracy need a good dose of Castor Oil to purge it of this high class garbage!

Posted by: Dale Parker | September 11, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The forced sex and bribing allegations are valid in my opinion and worth looking into but, who cares if anyone (regardless of socio-economic stature) smokes some grass on their off time?
I think we need to trim off the fat on this issue and not be concerned about an employee selling sex toys or smoking pot.
I am in no way endorsing drug use but, seriously - get to the bottom of sexual coercion and bribe/favoritism charges. Lets not waste our time on trivial nonsense.

Posted by: gar4ett | September 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

SO if all these folks are getting fired does that mean these jobs are up for grabs? Uhh where do I send my application?

Posted by: Will B. Drilling | September 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

When is this nation going to realize that libations and love are are a part of everyday life? Sex, regardless of relationship success and other outcomes, still goes into the 'Love file". When a couple decides to bed one another, it is still an exchange of affection, need, and emotional fulfillment. It's still love, regardless of duration.

Cocktails, weed and cocaine are libations that a great percentage of the nation has, does, will and may partake of. This goes into the "R&R File". Rest and relaxation is a necessity in the working class. It is the "abuse" of these things that may lead to mishap or wrong decision. But all in all and for the most part, people still do get up on Mondays and plug back in to the machinery to carry on with daily duties throughout the work week as long as the use of libations is kept in perspective.

Bottom line, there is no doubt in my mind that every body on the planet needs love and libation. Importantly, remember that things of discretion are a personal choice when knowing that love in business can be lucrative and substances are illegal, and their choices may lead to all forms and results of judgement. Live and let live. But always be very cautious and considerate of the lives of others.

Posted by: Y.B.V. | September 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Liberal is Latin, gimme your # !!!!!

Posted by: Hot for Liberals | September 11, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

drill baby, drill.

oil exploration is clean and safe, like oral sex while driving.

this is another sexist attack on the Gov of Alaska.

Posted by: mcpalin | September 11, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I think the terminology should be "Getting drilled" not "Drilling."

Posted by: mark d | September 11, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Is this supposed to be breaking news? If it isn't well-known that this happens in every industry, government and private, then that ignorance is where the real problem lies.

Posted by: Jeff | September 11, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like they like to what.

Posted by: ... | September 11, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Good God, all these libs commenting: "its the bushies!!", and ignoring every other comment pointing out that "these employees" were probably not Republican appointees, AND probably predate the Bush adminstration.

But whatever. They are SO blinded by their BDS syndrome, they are clueless. I already knew that. What I didn't know is how deep my hatred for libs could extend.

And let me tell ya, it's DEEP.

Posted by: GAC | September 11, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I have worked as a federal government employee for over 32 years in 3 different agency's. There is a different between career employees, SES (Sr Executive Service) and Political appointees. Rules are different for each group. I would be interested in the break down as to who in this report was in what group.

Posted by: DJ | September 11, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

sounds like the good old days at my old job snorting coke and banging an intern!!

Posted by: bigrz | September 11, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Easy solution to the civil servant problem that has gotten us from war to virus infected space ships to crap like this:
1. Limit civil service to 5 years, then get a real job. Ive worked with too many 'senior IT security' types in government that didn't even know what a firewall is.
2. Infractions above a certain civil service level result in mandatory jail time.

Posted by: theantibush | September 11, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I did check the facts, his appointees and leaders are involved up to their eyeballs.
But the Justice Dept. has declined to prosecute the top dogs. Imagine that! A couple of the mid-levels are going down but just like Abu Grahib, the ones at the top get a free pass.

Posted by: TinMan | September 11, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I think that we should leave politics out of it and go with a little integrity.
Prosecute the guilty no matter whom they work for, no matter how they got the job. Those that had nothing to do with it needn't worry, but cut nobody any slack. I don't want to hear about the left or right wing 'Spin', I could care less,....just nail them to the proverbial barn door.

Posted by: Olddog | September 11, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh no!!! Pot!! It really is the end of the world when seemingly normal people are smoking the devil's weed! Give me a break, who cares! The focus of the entire investigation should be to make sure the oil companies are not being given discounts on their revenues. Maybe smoking will actually make the oil execs feel something other than greed for once.

Posted by: Nate | September 11, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I need a new job. One where I can get a head.

Posted by: Drillbit Tailer | September 11, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh,...and the ones that will not prosecute the guilty should be thrown out on their asses.

Posted by: olddog | September 11, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Hypocite liars. Just don't go trying to regulate sex & drug use for the rest of us. However-- the bribing, sweetheart deals, lost money-- that's what's disturbing. And America yawns and twitters about lipstick! So go vote for the next Republican Ceaser and when YOUR head gets shoved in that lap, start sucking.

Posted by: Jaylike Birds | September 11, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah it happens every day. It's called a "Sales Force."

Posted by: Heh | September 11, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how the Mainstream media is covering this without mentioning the name BUSH one time. How scared are they to place the blame where it should - NO THE ADMINISTRATION WHO ORCHESTRATES THIS GANGSTER ACTIVITY LIKE THEY ALWAYS HAVE!

Posted by: Sousa the Patriot | September 11, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, who says that government employees are predominantly democrats? Ed Devine, you suggest that we'll see this as self-evident by looking around at the Post Office or at TSA employees in the airport. Is the logic that folks without huge salaries are Democrats? Since 20% of Americans control 84% of our country's wealth (, would that mean that the country is 80% Democrat? That hardly seems right.

However, if you're suggesting that the Democratic party is made of folks who will gladly accept less than market wages in order to bust their humps for the good of the country, that's a stereotype I can live with. Civil Servants (approximately 14 million of them, are, on the whole, extremely admirable people. They sacrifice for sub-par pay in an effort to improve our country and the world. I served as a contractor in an office where we joked about working "half days" (12-hour shifts). We weren't paid for 12-hours of work, we simply did it because it was the right thing to do and we put service before self.

Posted by: DC Democrat | September 11, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

We had bigger better parties than this in banking.

Posted by: Obamamama | September 11, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting stuff here, and of little or no significance.

Makes me wonder: is politics good for anything except an occasional interesting story?

Corruption in government -- has it ever been any different? Not in my experience, and I've been around a long, long time.

Power corrupts, and - - you know the rest.

Now, on to more interesting stuff: One of my ducks (the female) has started laying eggs, and that's a lot more interesting to me than all this political stuff.

Posted by: Clint | September 11, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I need to get into banking then Obamamama...what sector was this??

Posted by: Nate | September 11, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Charly for researching when the people mentioned in the article got their start at MMS - under Bill Clinton. Seems to me they took their cue from their then current boss.

Posted by: quig | September 11, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This is for all you Bush bashers ,,,Where in this article did you see that Bush was present at any of these things that (aledgedly) went on. This all sounds like somthing that Dirty Harry ,or lefty Palosi,or both made up to keep from having to put drilling to a vote...Just looks like more of the same to me.They have main stream media in their pocket ,(EVERYBODY) with any sense at all knows that! lol Too bad they are going to all the trouble of splitting up all these families to get their way,,,but it don't seem to bother them ,now does it ?

Posted by: Hardarms | September 11, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

This story is sexism in the worst way...Are you at WaPo totally SEXIST..follow the arrows you WaPo sexists..

Oil-> Drill -> oral sex -> Chicks -> Alaska has oil -> Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska -> Sarah Palin is a chick -> prostitutes are chicks who give oral sex to strangers.

So you guys are calling Sarah Palin a street strumpet!

You scummy slime ball elite eastern media sickos at WaPo...

Posted by: :^0 | September 11, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Bush and his Christian buddies at the oil companies are going to rot in hell. Why would anyone ever think that Bush and the Wanna Bee's are any different than us ? Just because you stand in front of a Tv camera & condemn others for their sins, doesn't make you Snow White, it makes you a sleazy Republican liar. Ask McCain !!

Posted by: SadAmerican | September 11, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys whts up??I love you all not rly actually but yeah! ok buddii's bye now!

Posted by: Yo yo yo | September 11, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of drugs, any comment on the Cindy McCain drug story that the Post has apparently spiked, after accidentally allowing google to link to it?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

So whose watch has this party taken place on?

Posted by: Mo | September 11, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmm.....the trend was set by Bill Clinton and now everyone jumps into the fray. How pathetic can the Americans be!

Posted by: Simon | September 11, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Who's in charge of the Dept. of the Interior? Clinton? Or Bush?

Figure it out.

Posted by: FrankD | September 11, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

So I thought that Oral was not sex. Didn't Bill clear this up

Posted by: Anonymouse2 | September 11, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

A new party, a change ? If Obama get elected, after four years of his terrorism, we will all be living in mud huts or caves in the ground like his relatives and cronies, and be growing opium for a living.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

mblack1 - Yes, we knew that Bush Admin was figuratively "in bed with big oil"...we just didn't know that it was literally!

And, unfortunately, when corporations and government are in bed together, it is usually us, the taxpayer, who gets f--ed!

Posted by: randomhell | September 11, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if they were snorting coke off a hookers a$$ in a suite at the Gulfport Marriott. Was there a crime committed or just "ethics violations"? Where's the news story?

Posted by: Sheppy | September 11, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Do you know if they have any openings?

Posted by: tii | September 11, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The real debate here is cunnilingus versus fellatio, am I right? Liberal America wants more cunnilingus? LOL

Posted by: FJ | September 11, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany's best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer "moral clarity"—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.

Jonathan Haid from the edge 9/22/07

Posted by: oto | September 11, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Why do we have a justice department? They sit and do nothing. If the whole bunch are not prosecuted and thrown out.Then the justice department judges should be thrown out.All they do is play favoritism anyhow!

Posted by: Hondo | September 11, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Why do we have a justice department? They sit and do nothing. If the whole bunch are not prosecuted and thrown out.Then the justice department judges should be thrown out.All they do is play favoritism anyhow!

Posted by: Hondo | September 11, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Why do we have a justice department? They sit and do nothing. If the whole bunch are not prosecuted and thrown out.Then the justice department judges should be thrown out.All they do is play favoritism anyhow!

Posted by: Hondo | September 11, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

What makes people vote Democrats?

Ignorance. Want proof?

Meet an off-the-street liberal, pull him aside, and offer an eloquent speech. He will believe whatever you say with a vigorous nodding of his head. All you have to do to deceive a liberal is pretend to be scientific and rationale (most liberals have never published a peer-reviewed paper, nor have they learned how to think scientifically - check out the math and science capabilities of our college students!). He/She will fall for you hook, line, sinker. Didn't you watch the religious convention of the Democrats. There were people weeping, jumping up-and-down, raising their hand, and..weeping again.

Posted by: Simon | September 11, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks All. This has been most entertaining.
Seems like it would make a great comedy routine.

Posted by: Ed | September 11, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

You guys do know that Nader is going to run for Prisident of the United States again this year as a third party choich. Right?

Posted by: invinible | September 11, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Career civil workers or political appointees , aren't they still a responsibility of this Administration?
Aren't a responsibility of the Department?
Again the Republicans are showing their incompetence and unability to govern, but boy oh boy can they run a campaign!

Posted by: color blind | September 11, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Its not about Bush/Clinton Republican/Democrats. This is about corruption, bribery and abuse of power and it happens at all levels of society, government and political parties. Stop the political blame game and lets hold the 17 (from the reports I have seen) people accountable and demand that this governmental body be fixed.

Posted by: Kris | September 11, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Darren for your articulate and well reasoned comments ("Power tends to corrupt..."). Late night talk-show material aside (I can't wait), what is most disturbing is the allegation of forced sexual conduct, the appearance of conflict-of-interest in the awarding of contracts, the blatant nonpayment of oil and gas royalties and Mr. Smith's post-GS employment with a Denver oil company. I've lived and still do some work overseas. For anyone who thinks this behavior is OK simply because it occurs "in every industry, government or private," I suggest you speak - better yet, work with - individuals who are struggling to develop their countries in cultures of rampant corruption and greed. The United States is held to a higher standard, as we should be.

Posted by: Geselle | September 11, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Kris, I disagree, it's about the republicans ineptitude and corroption driven politcs. I afree with clor blind, the republicans are incompetents

Posted by: observer | September 11, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

DRILL BABY appropriate!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

GOP political appointees in bed with big oil? that's 'dog bites man.'

Posted by: jeb standards | September 11, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, maybe it will help to save the environment if the oil company honchos are spending their time drilling the MMS Chicks instead of the ocean bottom.

Twats for the twits!

Posted by: oldhonky | September 11, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, the last time I checked, it's my understanding that as no more than $50 was received in cash or in the form of a gift then there is no federal violation to speak of.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I read all the OIG reports..poor management, no integrity no morals...humm what else is new in this country. Enron, Fannie Mae, Silverado,, I think all those who retired and are involved in this report should loose their lurcative pensions just as congressmen who are corrupt and bail do time and still collect pensions and health care etc. what a disgrace to our Justice System...

Posted by: ex employee of MMS | September 11, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Get A Life said:

What a bunch of hyped up nonsense this is. Oh my Gawd...does she sell naughty sex toys!! So what!! What a bunch of hypocritcal puritains all these news agencies are. Gee...I wonder if we would find any inner office sex, drug use, or naughty drinking at the Post, or Times, or any other office or news agency in the nation? This is just another bunch of gossip nonsense. Really...nothing better to report on?

Gossip nonsense? This was revealed in an investigation, it's factual. You sound like someone who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. So, tell us, were the MMS chicks that hawt? If so, are you guys hiring?

Posted by: Smell An Oil Rat | September 11, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, folks if you think this is a problem caused by Democrats from the 1990's or Republicans of the current administration, thatsnuts.

This scenario has played itself out since time immemorial. Look, from the middle ages to the present there is in every culture ample evidence of this behavior.

The perception of advantage and position have always lead to excess, and likely always will.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | September 12, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

MMS is one big sex toy.
But, who took the shaft ...?
you did... Mr & Mrs Taxpayers.
MMS chicks, oil company kicks.
see you at the TailGate Party,
Neil, bring your Bro, George
if he can get away from
the White House-- seems to
be the tone of the report.
yes, the last 8 years was one heck
of a party for Chevron, Exxon, Shell oil..
-- and who got screwed..
you did-- sucker, U S taxpayers

Posted by: jamie | September 12, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton clearly went into the wrong line of business.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

As a taxpayer, I am outraged at the conduct of government employees, regardless of their political affiliation, who blatantly violate laws, ethics regulations and cost the public treasury billions in lost revenue to our government that is $10 trillion in debt.

Remember, the department's own Inspector General found ethics breeches by 19 employees, but only focused on 13 workers.In addition to the sex, drugs, and gifts, the employees are accused of rigging contracts, improperly helping oil company workers fix problems with their contracts, and working as part-time as private oil consultants.

Heads ought to roll beginning at the top with Secretary Dick Kempthorne, then on down the line to criminal prosecutions for those who engaged in criminal conduct or knew about it and stayed silent. This sleazy Royalty in Kind (RIK) program started under former secretary Gale Norton, who was in bed with the oil companies from the get go and still is as an employee of Shell Oil.

Those who justify or excuse such conduct as this have no moral compass and possess the family values of a junkyard dog.

Posted by: TruthtoPower | September 12, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Oto, intelligient, educated voters will vote Republican this time because current democrat (Obama's) economic policies are anticapitalist and if inacted will result in more job losses and increased poverty.
As a History major and an MBA with years of experience in financial operations I know that a properly regulated (meaning an even playing field is maintained for the players) capitalist economic system provides the greatest wealth and standard of living for the highest percentage of the population. Increased government spending takes money out of the private sector that produces wealth, jobs and a higher standard of living.

As to the behaviors described in the article they reflect nothing more than the way human beings are often corrupted when personal interests take precedence over a company's or in this case the government's interests.

High level political appointees represent less than one percent of those who work for the government. The split of government employees who vote for democrats vs republicans is 70-80 percent dems and 20-30 percent reps. This is based on my 37 plus years in a more conservative federal agency.

Posted by: actuator | September 12, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"How many of these are Bush administration appointees and how many are career MMS civil servants? It's an important question in my book.

Posted by: Jim | September 11, 2008 3:18 PM"

It's a field office, so odds are these are all career MMS bureaucrats. Many of these people have since retired, so they've been in the govt sector for quite a long time.

Posted by: kws | September 12, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"This sleazy Royalty in Kind (RIK) program started under former secretary Gale Norton, who was in bed with the oil companies from the get go and still is as an employee of Shell Oil.

Those who justify or excuse such conduct as this have no moral compass and possess the family values of a junkyard dog.

Posted by: TruthtoPower | September 12, 2008 10:20 AM "

Nope. This program is older than the Bush administration. IIRC, it's about 10 years old and has had investigations about the way they've handled contracts in 1998 & 1999. None of these actions are excusable. The people involved need to be prosecuted. Also, for those that keep harping about the Republicans/administration doing noting: this was investigated and exposed by the DOI itself, not some little committee appointed by a do-nothing Congress or a journalist.

Unfortunately, this takes a long time due to red tape and regulations originally meant to protect civil servants from political vendettas. As a former DOI employee, I can recall a co-worker making the statement "If you're an actual US Government employee and not a contractor, you've got it made. You really have to f*ck up to get fired."

Posted by: kws | September 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"While the value of the gifts was less than $7,000, the tally on the investigation was in the neighborhood of $5.3 million according to the Associated Press."

Did you all forget this part??

$5,300,000 to find $7,000... lawyers make good money.
Good comment Reno!
$5,300,000 right from our Social Security Fund!

Posted by: dph | September 12, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious now that this had something to do with Cheney's "secret" meeting with oil, early on in the Admin. I wouldn't give up the "minutes of the meeting" either with these perks being discussed.

Posted by: edfeeney | September 12, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Helluva job Smitty.

Posted by: ItshotinPHX | September 12, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

you left wing nutjobs are hillarious, you obviously have a Bush fettish because according to all of you he is responsible from everything from the lincoln assasination to global warming. Get over this for god and our country's sake, because we the true americans have allready forgotten and got over you dumb asses

Posted by: c newman | September 12, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

well wash post then allow your so called unbiased reporters the leeway to report the news in a fair and balanced way, not just the left wing nutjobs talking points. Go back and redifine your selfs as jounalists and remember when you aspiring for the job and just wanted to report on the truth not what you now decide is the truth.

Posted by: c newman | September 12, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I love how everyone blames the whitehouse. Most of these scumbags are career government workers. I am a contractor sitting at a government agency on a friday @3:30 and the place is a ghost town. I can only assume that most of the government employees are out drinking and smoking pot because they sure as hell are not working.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

If anybody is interested in who the ladies were here is a link to the report.

Posted by: J | September 12, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Where do I send my resume for the career in the MMS agency. The place where one can work hard and play hard.

Posted by: JrHagler | September 12, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

In a small way, this story has to be encouraging for Base Republicans. I mean, finally we have a heterosexual Republican sex scandal.

Posted by: Local Crank | September 13, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

"Bush appointees don't do such things. They are all to busy praying."

Should that be "praying" or "preying"?

Guess it depends who they are doing it to.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 15, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen a better argument for smaller government than this.

Posted by: Batgeek | September 15, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Has it occurred to anyone to ask why we have photos of every female participant in a sex scandal, except this one? No MMS Chicks?

America hates the red pill.

Posted by: Alone | September 17, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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