UPDATED: Congressman Asks For National Park Service Director’s Resignation
By Kurt Repanshek on June 23rd, 2016
President Obama has been asked to fire National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis if the director does not resign/NPS
Editor’s note: This updates the story to mention that a petition drive calling for Director Jarvis’ removal has been started.
National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, who has had to deal with his own ethical transgressions and a range of misconduct issues across the National Park System during this, the Park Service’s centennial year, should resign or be fired, a member of Congress has told President Obama.
Additionally, a petition has been launched on We The People, a website that reaches out to the White House, calling for the director’s termination.
Congressman Jody Hice, a Republican from Georgia, wrote the president last week asking that Director Jarvis be asked to resign. In the letter (attached) the congressman cited the director’s run-in with the Interior Department’s Ethics Office for not clearing a book he wrote for a Park Service contractor, the well-publicized case of long-running sexual harassment in Grand Canyon National Park, and another case of sexual misconduct at Canaveral National Seashore.
“Regrettably, in these cases — and others — the proper form of discipline was not pursued,” Rep. Hice wrote. “In the case of Director Jarvis’ book deal, the only punishment he faced was that he was stripped of his authority to implement the Park Service’s Ethic’s Program and is required to attend monthly ethics training courses for the remainder of his tenure. Others have either been transferred out of their positions or have been allowed to retire without facing the punishment that fits the misconduct.
“These are just some of the ethical failures and misconduct commited by employees of the National Park Service and the lack of discipline they have faced. Ultimately, Director Jarvis must be held accountable for these actions. Therefore Mr. President, I believe that the time has come for you to call on Director Jarvis to tender his resignation as the Director of the National Park Service. Should he choose not to resign, I believe that you must relieve him of his duties immediately.”
This past Tuesday a petition drive calling for Director Jarvis’ removal was launched on We The People. If 100,000 people sign the petition by July 21, the White House will respond to the request, according to the website. The petition, created by “A.B.,” states:
As the nation celebrates the National Park Service centennial, we deserve a director who will uphold the integrity of the agency’s mission and values. We urge you to remove Director Jonathan Jarvis.
Jarvis has failed to address numerous and pervasive sexual harassment and hostile work environment violations.
He lied to the Secretary of the Interior and intentionally bypassed the agency’s Ethics Office in order to write an unsanctioned book.
He has failed to discipline park service employees who deliberately omitted and misrepresented scientific data.
And he is pushing for policy changes that would give corporate donors unprecedented influence over park managers and National Park Service decisions.
We and the Park Service cannot wait. Jarvis must go.