It isn’t the first time Douglas Domenech came under the spotlight for questionable ethical behavior. Back in 2017, he was found improperly meeting with an attorney at his former employer, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, according to redacted government documents.
Just recently, the Office of the Inspector General found that our Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs was communicating with a senior EPA official regarding a family member’s job application as well as promoting another family member’s “business name and website to the EPA senior official in an email sent from his DOI email account,” a May 29th, 2020 report found.
Douglas Domenech went through required ethics training
According to the report, Douglas Domenech went through required ethics training from the Departmental Ethics Office back in January 2017. That ethics training covered two main subject areas that are relevant to addressing nepotism:
1) Regarding private business gain: “Officials should not misuse their public office for private gain.”
2) Regarding familial endorsements: “You may not use, or allow the use of, your title, position or the authority associated with your position to endorse friends, relatives, or persons with whom you are affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”
Behavior of promoting family members to the EPA goes back to 2017
Douglas Domenech’s behavior of promoting his family members to EPA officials dates back three years or so. Then, Domenech and two family members attended a concern alongside a Senior EPA official.
During the concern, Douglas Domenech allegedly discussed both a family member’s job application status and business matters pertaining to the other family member’s company.
Later, Douglas Domenech circled back with the Senior EPA official with the following email:
Douglas Domenech denies wrongdoing
Despite the accusations against him, Domenech denies wrongdoing. When personnel at the Office of the Inspector General asked him whether his email meant to influence the hiring process, he responded:
“Well, when I think of influencing … I guess you ‘re right. I was trying to influence the process to move along. That’s different than influencing the process to hire [family member].”Douglas Domenech responds to the accusations
Further email communication
While intent is tough to prove, here’s one last piece of Douglas Demenech’s communication with the Senior EPA official — and the timeline associated with it for you to make your own judgment call.