Bureau of Indian Affairs head steps down after only six months in office: report

Bureau of Indian Affairs head steps down after only six months in office: report
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The director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs has resigned after only six months on the job, HuffPost reported Thursday.

The resignation from bureau head Bryan Rice came just over two weeks after the Interior Department's inspector general released a report saying that the agency had failed to gather sufficient information to determine whether the reassignments of dozens of senior officials were legal.

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Nedra Darling, a spokeswoman for the bureau, did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment on Rice's resignation. 

"It is our policy not to discuss DOI personnel matters in the press," she wrote in an email to HuffPost.

Rice, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, was a veteran official at the Bureau of Indian Affairs before his appointment as the bureau's director in October.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs handles relations between the federal government and 573 federally recognized tribes.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Overnight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule MORE praised Rice's "wealth of management expertise and experience" upon his appointment.

“I have full confidence that Bryan is the right person at this pivotal time as we work to renew the department’s focus on self-determination and self-governance, give power back to the tribes, and provide real meaning to the concept of tribal sovereignty,” Zinke said.