Published November 15, 2017
WASHINGTON – Just five months after being appointed deputy assistant for policy and economic development in the U.S. Department of Interior’s Indian Affairs, Gavin Clarkson resigned on Monday.
Appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on June 11, 2017, Clarkson resigned after the Interior Department’s inspector general issued an unfavorable report on a loan program he ran.
According to the Washington Post, before joining the Trump administration, Clarkson was a consultant for tribes that received loans under the program, including a controversial $22.5 million loan for the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe that helped finance the purchase of a brokerage firm that eventually went broke. As a result, the Interior Department is now being sued over its refusal to guarantee the remaining $20 million balance on the loan.
“I am excited to help tribal nations and tribal entrepreneurs create the conditions under which they can build, expand and sustain their economies,” Clarkson said in a statement announcing his June appointment.