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In the Loop: Griles attended DOI's Christmas party

Former deputy secretary J. Steven Griles was welcomed to the Interior Department's recent Christmas party by Secretary Gale Norton, Al Kamen of The Washington Post reports.

Griles left the department in December 2004 to rejoin the lobbying world. He has since been questioned for his role in the Jack Abramoff scandal after documents showed that he had numerous contacts with the disgraced lobbyist and a Republican who appeared to be acting as Abramoff's broker.

"But all that was put aside in the spirit of the season as Griles stood next to Norton, warmly greeting his former underlings, and everyone wished everyone a happy holiday," Kamen writes in his In the Loop column.

Norton has since denied that Abramoff had any influence over tribal decisions at Interior. She says she doesn't know what goes on at the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, the group run by her friend, Italia Federici.

Get the Story:
In the Loop: All Is Calm, All Is Bright at Interior [see second item] (The Washington Post 12/15)

Relevant Documents:
CREA Memo to Interior (February 21, 2002)

Relevant Links:
Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy -

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