The Interior Department’s internal watchdog confirmed Monday that it has opened a formal investigation into numerous ethics complaints against David Bernhardt, the agency’s newly confirmed secretary. 

Mary Kendall, the agency’s deputy inspector general, confirmed the probe in a to Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), one of several who requested the agency review Bernhardt’s conduct. 

The Office of Inspector General received seven complaints “from a wide assortment of complainants alleging various potential conflict of interest and other violations” by Bernhardt, Kendall wrote. 

The former oil and gas lobbyist was  to the agency’s top post less than a week ago. He is among Interior officials who have been of violating ethics rules and came under increased scrutiny after two recent New

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