- Associated Press - Monday, June 4, 2018

REDDING, Calif. (AP) - U.S. investigators concluded in a report Monday that the superintendent of a popular federal park in California improperly solicited funds for a nonprofit organization.

The U.S. Department of Interior Inspector General’s Office also found that Jim Milestone violated park regulations and policies while in charge of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area near Redding.

Milestone has been Whiskeytown’s superintendent for 17 years. The large reservoir popular with boaters and anglers is 160 miles (257 kilometers) north of Sacramento.

Investigators found that Milestone improperly ordered subordinates to work on projects with the nonprofit group Friends of Whiskeytown, which supports the park.

They also said he wore his uniform and improperly solicited donations from businesses to benefit the same group.

Milestone did not respond to emails sent to his government address and through Facebook.

National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said Milestone has been assigned to a non-supervisory role outside the park while administrators mull possible discipline.

The Interior Department launched the investigation last year after receiving a complaint that Milestone was fundraising for the nonprofit organization while on duty and in uniform.

The department said it’s illegal for government officials to raise funds in that fashion, even for an organization such as the Friends of Whiskeytown that supports park activities and projects through private donations.

During the investigation, Milestone was also found to have ignored regulations and policies requiring him to consult with Native American tribes over concerns that a planned hiking path would desecrate land sacred to tribes.

Investigators also concluded Milestone displayed unprofessional conduct with sexual innuednos and demeaning comments about employees’ looks.

Finally, investigators said Milestone used a government vehicle for personal errands.

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