USGS Director James Reilly released a study on polar bears he had stalled for months on Friday

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In response to the Post report, Reilly sent an email to his staff the next day, saying his decision to delay was justified because he wanted to be “satisfied” with its underlying science before making it public.

The study, which had been obtained by The Post last month, notes that shrinking sea ice in the Arctic threatens the survival of polar bears while enhancing the opportunity for fossil fuel exploration there. “The long-term persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is threatened by sea-ice loss due to climate change, which is concurrently providing an opportunity in the Arctic for increased anthropogenic activities including natural resource extraction,” it said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had been seeking the report’s release for at least three months, according to several individuals briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The agency is legally required to cite the U.S. Geological Survey study before it can determine whether drilling can proceed on ConocoPhillips’ $3 billion Willow Project on Alaska’s North Slope without causing too much harm to the region’s polar bears, which are protected by federal law.

The analysis also finds that 34 percent of the western U.S. Arctic’s maternal dens are on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has implications for the Trump administration’s plans to auction oil and gas leases on the refuge. That is the same area the Interior Department approved for leasing in August, which has been off limits to drilling for four decades.

In an email to agency employees Thursday, Reilly confirmed that he had held up the study’s release but said it was wrong to suggest he did it “solely to benefit the oil and gas industry.”

“It is, however, an influential paper, and it will


Former head of Howard Universty’s bursar’s office sentenced to 4 months in jail for stealing nearly $140,000

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Mosley enlisted Brian Johnson, 35, a former employee and graduate of the school. The scheme entailed the university directly depositing more than $100,000 into Johnson’s Bank of America account. Johnson then kicked back half of the funds to Mosley via cash and payments through Johnson’s Venmo payment app.

During that period, Johnson’s bank account received 13 deposits of thousands of dollars from Howard.

The case, which has been investigated by the FBI, was part of a 2018 investigation by Howard University that resulted in the termination of six employees, including Mosley and Johnson.

Michael A. Sherwin, the federal prosecutor who oversaw the case, said Mosley also orchestrated a second scheme whereby she added her bank account to a different student’s profile. The university then unknowingly made eight financial aid deposits into the account, totaling $32,000.

Mosley, prosecutors argued, defrauded the school while earning an $89,000-a year salary. “Mosley abused her position of trust at Howard,” Sherwin said.

Mosley’s public defender said his client stole the money because of a gambling addiction.

When Mosley pleaded guilty to the charges in July, U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell ordered her to stay away from casinos as part of her condition of release while she awaited sentencing. As part of her plea, Mosley was ordered to repay nearly $140,000 and forfeit about $86,000. Howell also sentenced Mosley to three years of supervised probation.

Last Friday, the judge sentenced Johnson to three years probation and ordered him to forfeit nearly $54,000. Johnson, who pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, also was ordered to repay $108,000.

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