Interior Department Director Who Touched and Hugged Women Employees Said It Was Just 'His Nature'

Image via US Department of the Interior.
Image via US Department of the Interior.

A director in the Interior Department “demonstrated a pattern of unprofessional behavior” towards at least six women employees, at least one of whom says he retaliated against her after she complained, the agency’s inspector general says in a new report.


The allegations against Tim Lynn, the 51-year-old director of the Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES), were published Monday in a report obtained by the AP.

According to the AP, the report concludes Lynn “acted inappropriately toward at least six female employees” and says he “acknowledged touching the employees but said that was in his nature and that he had not meant to make anyone uncomfortable.”

The report also says at least one employee accused Lynn of retaliating against her for complaining about his behavior to Harry Humbert, a direct superior of Lynn’s. Though it’s not clear from the AP report what he was accused of doing in retaliation, the complaint apparently resulted in Lynn getting a coach “to help him develop his management style.”

Lynn is still in his position as director, though an employee at OLES told the AP he was “working on temporary assignment in North Dakota” and unavailable to comment on the allegations. The report has apparently been referred to an unnamed Interior official who has yet to make public what action the office is taking, if any.

Lynn has worked at the Department of the Interior since 2012. Before that, according to a 2013 Tulsa World profile, he served in the Navy and worked in the Secret Service.

He’s also worked as an investigator for a variety of federal bureaus, including 14 years at the US Forest Service, an agency where a December House Oversight Committee found evidence of widespread sexual harassment and bullying. At least 67 Forest Service employees cited for sexual misconduct in a three-year period and retaliation was common and often unusually cruel, the committee, led by Republican chairman Jason Chaffetz concluded.

Former Gawker news editor



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So, which Cabinet position will this one be offered?