Interior Employee Promoted Parkland Conspiracies, Was Convicted of Cutting His Ex-Girlfriend's Brakes

Illustration for article titled Interior Employee Promoted Parkland Conspiracies, Was Convicted of Cutting His Ex-Girlfriends Brakes
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It is certainly tough to imagine that anyone working with Ryan Zinke would have a bad personality and criminal history, but bear with me for a moment as I relay the tale of Kevin Sabo, acting chief of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Bureau of Reclamation in the Interior Department.

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In a review of Sabo’s public Facebook page, Talking Points Memo found posts comparing the Parkland shooting survivors to Nazis and sharing posts that suggested the shooting was a false flag somehow involving Debbie Wasserman-Schulz. “Civil servants are guaranteed First Amendment rights to communicate their own views on their own time on their own social media sites, even if some would find those views disagreeable or the primary sources erroneous,” Bureau of Reclamation public affairs chief Dan DuBray told TPM.

Sabo, who was hired in 2016 and promoted under the current administration, also has history of criminal charges, including a domestic violence-related charge.

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From TPM:

But his career took a downturn in 2000, when he was convicted of “attempted malicious wounding” for cutting the brakes on his ex-girlfriend’s car, causing her to crash. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Because of the felony, Sabo was disbarred in DC in 2003. He petitioned to be readmitted to the bar in DC in 2011 and was denied — in part because he pleaded guilty to another criminal charge in 2009 that involved taking items from a Home Depot without paying for them and attempting to return them. The charge was “larceny by false pretenses,” and was dismissed after Sabo paid a fine and completed community service hours.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals overruled the Bar and reinstated him in 2012. “We are persuaded by Mr. Sabo’s testimony that he is a changed man,” the judges wrote, in a split 2-1 decision.

This must be very uncomfortable for the Trump administration, which would never create safe harbor for a man with a record of abuse allegations and a penchant for conspiracy theories.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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Ellie Shechet

Correction: A previous version of this post read “Ryan Sabo” instead of “Kevin Sabo.” My bad!