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Author Topic: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations  (Read 1453 times)

Offline bigtex

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Tooke is a Trump appointee and has been the USFS Chief/Director since September

The chief of the country's forestry agency has stepped down amid an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed to ABC News in a statement on Wednesday night.

A PBS News investigation first reported allegations against Chief Tony Tooke related to relationships with subordinates prior to when he assumed his current role. The U.S. Forest Service confirmed last week that an independent investigator was looking into concerns about Tooke's behavior.

In a memo to employees Tooke acknowledged the investigation and said he has been cooperating but that he decided to resign to do what is best for the agency.

"I have been forthright during the review, but I cannot combat every inaccuracy that is reported in the news media. What I can control, however, are decisions I make today and the choice of a path for the future that is best for our employees, the Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture," he wrote in the memo. "I must also think about what is best for my family. Therefore, I have decided that what is needed right now is for me to step down as Forest Service Chief and make way for a new leader that can ensure future success for all employees and the agency."

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed that he accepted Tooke's resignation.

“Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke today tendered his resignation, which I accepted," Perdue said in a statement. "The Forest Service is filled with dedicated employees from across this nation who devote their lives to promoting healthy and productive forests for the benefit of taxpayers and our environment. In my experience, in order to effectively lead any organization, you must have the moral authority to inspire its members to work toward the goal of continuous improvement. Chief Tooke has determined that it is best for the Forest Service, its future, and its employees that he step aside. I thank him for his decades of service to this nation and to the conservation of its natural resources.”

he Forest Service is an agency within the USDA that fights wildfires and manages federal land. The agency had more than 35,500 employees as of September 2017, according to a federal database.

The agency has a history of problems related to sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the issue after a Huffington Post Highline report was published in 2016 and multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed against the agency over the years.

Tooke said in his memo that the agency has taken steps to improve policies and accountability, including appointing a senior advisor and employee advisory group to focus on work environment.

"We are in a moment at the Forest Service when we have a tremendous opportunity to mold a bright and successful future in delivering our mission," he wrote in the memo. "To seize this moment, however, the right leadership must be in place to create an atmosphere in which employees can perform their very best work. Each employee deserves a leader who can maintain the proper moral authority to steer the Forest Service along this important and challenging course."

Tooke was appointed as Forest Service chief by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on August 21, 2017. He previously worked at the Forest Service since he was 18, specifically as associate deputy chief for the National Forest System before he was appointed as chief, according to the Forest Service website.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/forest-service-chief-steps-amid-sexual-misconduct-investigation/story?id=53594798

Offline olyguy79

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 08:38:46 AM »
Many "in the know" considered Tooke to be an odd choice for the USFS Director position as he had never worked in the west.

I'd have to say that while you have Secretary Zinke changing things up on the DOI side, Secretary Perdue (Secretary of Agriculture) hasn't really done much with the US Forest Service, he's more of a farming/agriculture priority guy.  :twocents:

Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 01:39:47 AM »
 :tdown: Drain the swamp!

Offline bigtex

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 07:34:03 AM »
:tdown: Drain the swamp!
Drain the swamp of Trump appointees?

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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 08:34:36 AM »
Are you suggesting that Trump had forehand knowledge or condones/d such activities?  If guilt by remote association is all you have, I guess we are doing pretty good.


The bigger question is why wasn't this investigated well before Trump appointed him, as the allegations seem to stem from conduct well before Trump took office.

It sounds like the federal bureaucracy sat on these allegations until they were useful to embarrass the President, the bureaucracy having an obvious disdain for a guy who shakes things up and expects more from federal employees than status quo.  :dunno:

:tdown: Drain the swamp!

:yeah:  Good.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 09:02:16 AM by Fl0und3rz »

Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 09:03:50 AM »
Link to the transcript of the cited PBS story.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/u-s-forest-service-chief-under-investigation-after-complaints-of-sexual-misconduct#transcript


Quote
There were allegations of sexual misconduct committed by him when he wasn't the chief, earlier. And they involved relations with subordinates is the complaint we heard. Apparently — we have asked about this many times in the Forest Service.

. . .

So, thinking back to the reporting last night, you laid out so clearly the kinds of harassment and, as we said, assault that these women have been subjected to.

. . .

It’s a tough environment to work in. And we talked — we heard this from a lot of different women. In fact, one of the women we spoke with in our reporting is a woman named Jonel Wagoner. She’s part of a class-action complaint that is being made against the Forest Service alleging gender discrimination.

. . .

Quote
I was put in the most remote place. I was forced to sit and watch porn movies, because that’s what you did if you wanted your job the next year.

They dropped trees on my head. They put rocks in my pack. They destroyed my lunch. They did everything possible to wash me out.

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Quote
Once you say something, there’s no shutting that door, and you get a target on your back, has been my experience.

If you open your mouth and you speak up in regards to your standards or what should be right or wrong, there’s no going back.


That story mentions Tooke three times and does not mention specific allegations of misconduct.  The allegations quoted above are reference to other federal employees, I have to presume.  I agree that his forced resignation or firing is a good thing, and it sends a strong message to the organization that such will not be tolerated.


My question is what is going on in these federal bureaucracies that allow such persistent conduct and intimidation to occur without repercussions?  Time to clean house.

Offline Stein

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 09:17:02 AM »
It's not just the gov't, look at all of the corporations who have had guys resign or be fired.  It's a societal thing.

Online Bob33

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 09:20:21 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline bigtex

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 09:22:49 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.
Well he is isn't he?

Obama's USFS Director stayed on until Tooke was appointed late last summer. All the other Obama land management appointees left on inauguration day.

Offline olyguy79

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2018, 09:23:37 AM »
It's not just the gov't, look at all of the corporations who have had guys resign or be fired.  It's a societal thing.
:yeah:

It's just all coming out in the media now.

Offline olyguy79

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 09:23:55 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.
Well he is isn't he?

Obama's USFS Director stayed on until Tooke was appointed late last summer. All the other Obama land management appointees left on inauguration day.
Exactly

Offline bearpaw

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 09:29:40 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.

The post was clearly meant to trash Trump even though this USFS employee was actually ousted during the Trump Administration after years of working during other administrations? I agree with the comment that this is a societal thing, look at all the sicko's we have right here in WA, a democratic stronghold. I really don't think you can blame Trump anymore than you can blame Inslee for the actions of the mayor of Seattle or the sex perverts in WDFW! :dunno:
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Offline olyguy79

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 09:35:46 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.
The post was clearly meant to trash Trump even though this USFS employee was actually ousted during the Trump Administration after years of working during other administrations? I agree with the comment that this is a societal thing, look at all the sicko's we have right here in WA, a democratic stronghold. I really don't think you can blame Trump anymore than you can blame Inslee for the actions of the mayor of Seattle or the sex perverts in WDFW! :dunno:
He wasn't "ousted" at all.

He was actually promoted by Trump, then resigned not fired.

Did the Trump admin know about the claims prior to his appointment? Who knows. But anytime a political appointee resigns/fired/etc it's common news sense to say who appointed him. In fact the article mentions he was by Trump's Sec of Agriculture. Can't blame bigtex on this one.

Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2018, 09:37:23 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.
Well he is isn't he?

Obama's USFS Director stayed on until Tooke was appointed late last summer. All the other Obama land management appointees left on inauguration day.

So obama let this fester, while you said nothing.  Now that it is being cleaned up under Trump, it is a problem?


When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.

The post was clearly meant to trash Trump even though this USFS employee was actually ousted during the Trump Administration after years of working during other administrations? I agree with the comment that this is a societal thing, look at all the sicko's we have right here in WA, a democratic stronghold. I really don't think you can blame Trump anymore than you can blame Inslee for the actions of the mayor of Seattle or the sex perverts in WDFW! :dunno:

:yeah:

Offline bigtex

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Re: US Forest Servce Director Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 09:43:01 AM »
When a post start with "... is a Trump appointee" I question the intent of the post.
Well he is isn't he?

Obama's USFS Director stayed on until Tooke was appointed late last summer. All the other Obama land management appointees left on inauguration day.
So obama let this fester, while you said nothing.  Now that it is being cleaned up under Trump, it is a problem?
This may be shocking but I don't know of every government employee's background issues.

I've posted posts that make every administration look bad and good, but apparently you cant say anything negative about a Trump appointee on here.  :dunno:

 

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