“Nine months before agreeing to let ConocoPhillips delay a half-billion-dollar pollution cleanup, the government’s top environmental prosecutor [Sue Ellen Wooldridge] bought a $1 million vacation home with the company’s top lobbyist,” the AP reports. “Also in on the Kiawah Island, S.C., house deal was former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles, the highest-ranking Bush administration official targeted for criminal prosecution in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe.”
UPDATE: The happy couple:
Griles, now an oil and gas lobbyist, began dating Wooldridge while he was her boss at Interior. He was the department’s No. 2 official from July 2001 to January 2005, behind only former Secretary Gale Norton. He and Duncan, a ConocoPhillips vice president who runs the company’s Washington office, both served on President Bush’s presidential transition team, Griles for the Interior Department, Duncan for the Energy Department.
Duncan has played a major role in getting the Bush administration’s backing for a proposed $25 billion natural gas pipeline reaching from Alaska to Midwest markets.