The Inside Division is denying a CNN report published Monday that alleged Inside Secretary Ryan Zinke repeatedly has mentioned the company shouldn’t prioritize hiring various candidates.

Three unnamed high-ranking officers throughout the division mentioned Zinke has made it clear he doesn’t care about range and would somewhat consider “having the suitable particular person for the suitable job,” in response to CNN.

“[Zinke] flat out mentioned, ‘I don’t actually assume that’s necessary anymore. We don’t have to deal with [diversity] anymore,’” one unnamed Inside Division official reportedly instructed the outlet.

Heather Swift, a spokeswoman for the Inside Division, mentioned the allegations in opposition to Zinke have been “unfaithful.”

“As a lady who has labored for him for numerous years in senior positions, I say for sure this declare is unfaithful, and I’m hopeful that they’re a results of a misunderstanding and never a deliberate mistruth,” Swift mentioned Monday in a press release emailed to HuffPost. 

Swift pointed to the a number of Inside Division appointments below Zinke ― together with Brenda Burman, the primary lady to guide the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ― and his earlier invites to talk at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Basis occasions, to counsel the secretary is dedicated to range.

“The Secretary has surrounded himself with skilled professionals from various backgrounds,” Swift mentioned.

Zinke got here below fireplace in June when he unexpectedly reassigned 33 senior executives. An lawyer for one of many reassigned staffers instructed CNN she believed at the very least 15 have been minorities.

Greater than 70 p.c of the Inside Division’s 68,000 workers are white, CNN reported, citing knowledge from the Workplace of Personnel Administration. 

A leaked model of the division’s 2018-2022 strategic plan additionally didn’t have the variety and inclusion mandate laid out by the earlier administration, Outside magazine reported in November.

The division’s 2014-2018 strategic plan below President Barack Obama known as for a “extremely expert and engaged workforce that displays the variety of the Nation. Variations in background, thought, training, and expertise contribute to the numerous views within the office and create a synergy for larger efficiency and success within the achievement of DOI’s mission objectives.”

Zinke’s plan omits this language, and as an alternative focuses on methods to “generate revenues and develop the U.S. financial system” by rolling again environmental laws imposed on fossil gas firms.

  • This text initially appeared on HuffPost.

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