Feds pay $100K settlement with researcher

NPR reports a scientist received $100,000 to settle a whistle-blower complaint against the Interior Department.

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As part of the settlement, the former wildlife researcher for the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, Charles Monnett, left his job with the agency in November.

In turn, the agency removed a letter of reprimand that had been placed in his file.

The controversy started in 2004 when Monnett -- while flying over the Arctic -- saw drowned polar bears. He later reported on the polar bears in a scientific journal.

In 2010, the Interior Department's Inspector General began to interrogate Monnett after receiving allegations of misconduct.

In the end, Monnett was found innocent of any scientific misconduct but was reprimanded for leaking internal government documents.