The director of the National Weather Service has retired after an investigative report found senior staff members at the agency had misdirected millions of dollars and operated “outside the bounds of acceptable financial management.”
John L. “Jack” Hayes, assistant administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NWS director since 2007, retired Friday. That was the day after a departmental investigation said that for several years, the NWS has taken money Congress had provided for certain functions and reallocated the money to 122 weather offices around the country.
“The fact that the team did not find any evidence of fraud or personally [sic] financial gain does not lessen the severity of the misconduct,” said a memorandum from Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca M. Blank.
The NWS chief financial officer was replaced last year and the department began investigating anonymous complaints about the misallocation of funds in 2010 and 2011.
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) called the reports “deeply troubling.”