Former U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) says that his taskforce is not looking into allegations of ethical breaches by the American Society of Civil Engineers hired to review the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET), which is the U.S. Corps of Engineers investigation into the levee failures. Boehlert says that Levees.org, the local Corps watchdog group, might have misunderstood his groups mission.
If [Levees.org] is looking for responses to allegations of ethical shortcomings and if theyre looking toward the taskforce, theyre looking in the wrong direction, Boehlert says.
He adds that ASCE asked him to form a group of experts to examine the policies and procedures for conducting engineering studies and national investigations such as ASCEs inquiries into the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11. The taskforce is scrutinizing ASCEs funding methods, selection criteria and ensuring that there are no conflicts of interests for future national investigations.
As for accusations of ethical violations by the ASCE in its IPET review, Boehlert responds that ASCEs own Commission on Professional Conduct (CPC) is handling those complaints.
At a press conference yesterday, Levee.orgs Sandy Rosenthal said that ASCE has purposefully delayed completing the review of the ethics complaints, which were brought to ASCEs attention in December by Professor Ray Seed, an ASCE member who led his own investigation into the levee failures. Joan Buhrman, a spokesperson for ASCE, says that ASCE has no control over when the CPC would issue its report.
We never committed to a time frame for the CPC, Buhrman says.