Interesting piece from yesterday’s Washington Post that revealed that a ”senior Justice Department official who recently resigned her post bought a nearly $1 million vacation home with a lobbyist for ConocoPhillips months before approving consent decrees that would give the oil company more time to pay millions of dollars in fines and meet pollution-cleanup rules at some of its refineries”.

The paper went on to say that: “Sue Ellen Wooldridge, former assistant attorney general in charge of environment and natural resources, bought a $980,000 home on Kiawah Island, S.C., last March with Conoco-Phillips lobbyist Don R. Duncan. A third owner of the house is J. Steven Griles, a former deputy interior secretary, who has been informed he is a target in the federal investigation of Jack Abramoff’s lobbying activities”.

Interestingly no one seems to have had a problem with this little deal as a spokeswoman for the Justice Department has said that Wooldridge sought and received approval from a career ethics official in her office before buying the vacation property.

Who ever denied that the oil industry and Bush Administration were close? But buying houses together….

Article cited: Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi, “Justice Official Bought Vacation Home With Oil Lobbyist”, The Washington Post, February 15,