Whistleblower Complaint Against Energy Secretary Rick Perry
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Edelman, who has not previously disclosed his identity as the source of the photographs, said in an interview that he wanted to expose the close relationship between the two men. Based on the “action plan” and conversations he overheard, Mr. Edelman said, Mr. Perry had tilted the administration’s energy policy to favor Murray Energy and other coal companies.
“It seemed like that was the right thing to do — exercising my First Amendment rights to get the information out there,” said Mr. Edelman, who had worked at the agency since 2015 and whose job included photographing events that the agency promoted in news releases, on the web and elsewhere.
Mr. Edelman said he decided to share the photos with the news media — The Washington Post published the images after In These Times — hoping to derail Mr. Perry’s proposed rule. The rule faced opposition from a cross section of environmental groups, energy companies, free-market advocates and former regulators, and last week, the energy commission rejected it.
In retaliation, Department of Energy employees tried to compell Edelman to erase the photos. When that didn’t work, he was placed on administrative leave.
Rick Perry first grew close with the coal man when Murray donated over $100,000 to the Texan’s 2012 presidential bid. His campaign infamously floundered when the former Texas Governor famously wanted to eliminate the DOE, but couldn’t even remember the agency’s name in a televised debate.