Federal agency lifts Alaska scientist's suspension

August 26, 2011 - 1:50 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska scientist suspended for six weeks has been restored to his job at the agency that oversees offshore petroleum drilling.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement says Dr. Charles Monnett (moh-NAY') was returning to work Friday.

Melissa Schwartz says by email that Monnett was told he would have no role in developing or managing contracts, and would work in the agency's environmental assessment division.

The Interior Department's Office of Inspector General last week said by letter that Monnett had assisted a researcher in preparing a proposal while being the government official responsible for the reviewing of the proposal.

Advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has claimed Monnett was targeted for his paper on drowned polar bears that spurred publicity on climate warming.