Land Deal Ties Interior Secretary’s Family, Halliburton Boss

Head of energy services giant that Interior conducts business with backing development

By Tristan Scott
Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke speaks at the Western Governors' Association annual meeting in Whitefish on June 27, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

HELENA — Records show U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s family is involved in a land deal with the head of an energy services giant that does business with the Interior Department.

Politico first reported the Zinkes’ dealings with Halliburton chairman David Lesar involving a commercial development in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana.

A charitable foundation created by Zinke and run by his wife, Lola, is allowing a company co-owned by Lesar and his family to use a portion of its land as a parking lot for the development.

The land was donated to Zinke’s Great Northern Veterans Peace Park Foundation to create a park.

Whitefish city planner Dave Taylor said Tuesday that the development plans pre-date Zinke’s tenure as Interior secretary.

Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift didn’t have immediate comment. Zinke told Politico that he’s no longer involved with the foundation.

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