Wow, the Interior Department sure knows how to throw a scandal:

As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal—including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct....

The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch....

In one of the new reports, investigators conclude that a key supervisor at the agency’s minerals revenue management office worked together with two aides to steer a lucrative consulting contract to one of the aides after he retired, violating competitive procurement rules....

In addition, the report alleges that eight royalty-program officials accepted gifts from energy companies whose value exceeded limits set by ethics rules — including golf, ski and paintball outings; meals and drinks; and tickets to a Toby Keith concert, a Houston Texans football game and a Colorado Rockies baseball game.…

The investigation separately found that the program’s manager mixed official and personal business, and took money from a technical services firm in exchange for urging oil companies to hire the firm. In sometimes lurid detail, the report accuses him of having intimate relations with two subordinates, one of whom regularly sold him cocaine.

As it turns out, the program manager's defense was that, well, sure he slept with his secretary, sure he bought cocaine from her, but at least he didn't talk about doing drugs in the office...

--Bradford Plumer