Continued from page 1

Ms. Brian said the situation highlighted a “clear conflict of interest, and one that doesn’t appear to have been thoroughly examined.”

Still, Mr. Henke has received some praise for his BLM work. In a letter to the editor to the Daily Times newspaper in New Mexico, Republican state Rep. Paul C. Bandy credited the former BLM official with increasing enforcement inspection staff and improving relations between the oil and gas industry and residents.

“That he could accomplish so much in increased regulation while retaining the respect and friendship of people in the industries regulated is a wonder,” Mr. Bandy wrote of Mr. Henke.