APNewsBreak: Indian education head demoted in hiring flap


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on a report that found the director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education violated hiring practices (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

The director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education has been demoted after a federal report found he violated hiring practices.

The Interior Department says it has removed Charles “Monty” Roessel as director due the gravity of the issues raised in the watchdog’s report released Wednesday.

The department’s Office of Inspector General found Roessel abused his position by hiring a close relative and a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship.

Roessel told investigators he hired the woman as a program analyst in Washington, D.C., because she was the most qualified candidate. He acknowledged fault in hiring his relative to work at Navajo Nation schools.

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, a deputy secretary under the Interior Department, will serve as acting director of the Bureau of Indian Education.

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10:30 a.m.

A new report from a federal watchdog says the director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education violated hiring practices and gave inconsistent statements to investigators.

The report by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General found Charles “Monty” Roessel abused his position to hire a close relative and a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report ahead of its release Wednesday.

Roessel told investigators he hired the woman as a program analyst in Washington, D.C., because she was the most qualified candidate. He acknowledged fault in the hiring of his relative to work at Navajo Nation schools.

The Bureau of Indian Education oversees nearly 200 schools serving American Indian children. It has faced scrutiny recently for rundown classrooms and for failing to conduct regular inspections at dozens of schools.