Written by The Business Journal Staff
(AP) — The Latest on claims of harassment by employees of the Yosemite National Park Service.
The head of Yosemite National Park has apologized to staff members following recently revealed allegations of harassment and other misconduct.
Superintendent Don Neubacher sent the apology Sunday in an email to all park employees, referencing “some serious staff concerns related to Yosemite’s workplace environment.”
It comes after a congressional oversight committee unveiled that at least 18 Yosemite staffers complained of a toxic work environment.
Officials say they’re also investigating complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation at Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks.
Neubacher says he has been Yosemite’s superintendent for nearly seven years and wasn’t aware of the concerns until recently, which make him sad. He says his goal has always been to make the park a positive workplace.
Park spokesman Scott Gediman declined to comment Monday.
Government investigators are due in Yellowstone National Park Tuesday to look into an employee’s claims of sexual exploitation of female workers and financial misconduct.
The investigation by the National Park Service Inspector General follows reports of widespread sexual misconduct at Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other national parks across the country.
The claims regarding Yellowstone come from an equipment operator named Robert Hester.
Hester submitted a statement to the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee saying sexual exploitation of female employees was rife in the Yellowstone’s special projects division. He also alleged the misuse of government credit cards.
Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said Monday that the investigation would focus initially on the special projects division and expand as needed.
Wenk says no one else has stepped forward with claims similar to Hester’s.