By Michael Bastasch
A Yellowstone ranger was illegally renting out his government-provided apartment at the national park to numerous individuals, including a French couple who exchanged homes with the park ranger and his family.
The Interior Department’s inspector general found Timothy Reid, the chief ranger at Yellowstone, had lent out his government apartment, which he was required to live in, to 19 people since 2009.
“Among the Yellowstone visitors who have stayed at Reid’s apartment was a family from France who resided there for 8 days,” the inspector general reported. “In exchange for staying in the apartment, the French family agreed to allow Reid and his family to stay in one of their homes in France as part of a home exchange program.”
“We spoke with the French couple, who explained they found Reid and his wife’s bed and breakfast on a home-exchange website (www.homeexchange.com) and emailed Reid’s wife in the fall of 2012 to negotiate a home exchange at her bed and breakfast,” the IG found. “The French couple also explained that prior to the couple’s arrival, Reid’s wife emailed them, explaining that the cabin they had booked was no longer available. She offered them the on-park Government apartment as an alternative place to stay.”
“The French couple told us that, as part of the home exchange, they offered Reid and his family a stay at one of their homes in France as compensation,” according to the IG.
Reid, however, was supposed to be living in his apartment. Instead, he lived at a bed and breakfast operated by his wife that wasn’t in Yellowstone. Further, Reid’s colleagues knew he was violating the rules, but failed to take action.
“We also determined that Reid—despite annually certifying that his on-park Government housing was his primary residence—violated the terms of his required occupancy agreement by living at the family-owned bed and breakfast, not the on-park apartment,” the IG reported.
“The Yellowstone superintendent and deputy superintendent both admitted that they knew Reid did not comply with the required occupancy condition of his employment and that they took no action,” according to the IG.
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