Description: Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by former Department of Interior employee who alleged that the agency reassigned him in retaliation for raising concerns regarding climate change risk to Native Alaska communities.
Clement v. U.S. Department of Interior
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/14/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Former Department of Interior Employee Filed FOIA Lawsuit Seeking Records on Department’s Reorganization. A former employee of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against DOI. The former employee alleged that as part of his duties at DOI he formerly had “addressed the danger posed by melting permafrost and other climate change impacts to Alaska Native communities such as Kivalina, Shishmaref, and Shaktoolik” and “raised the threats to these communities and the opportunities for developing resilience plans publicly – at the United Nations, for example – as well as inside the federal government.” The employee alleged that in June 2017 he was reassigned to a DOI office responsible for collection and accounting for and verifying natural resources revenue, a position for which he did not have experience or education. The plaintiff filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that the reassignment was in retaliation for raising concerns about the Alaska Native communities. In two FOIA requests in September and October 2017, the plaintiff sought 39 categories of records relating to reorganization of DOI staff in the Trump administration and to his employment. The plaintiff alleged that DOI had not produced any records or made a determination on his requests.