Sep 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge removes Trump public lands chief

Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley

Photo: Department of Interior

A federal judge on Friday ordered that William Pendley be removed from his acting role as head of the Bureau of Land Management, saying he served unlawfully in the position for 424 days, per AP.

Driving the news: U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said the former oil industry attorney acted illegally in the role without Senate confirmation, as required.

  • Earlier this year, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) sued to remove Pendley, arguing he was illegally overseeing the agency.
  • Though Pendley's nomination was withdrawn in early September, he continued to oversee the agency based on an "unusual arrangement" he orchestrated, AP writes.

The big picture: The Trump administration has tried to avoid the the confirmation process for multiple positions, instead filling the seats with temporary appointments.

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