May 17, 2010 4:32 PM by Chris Welty
WASHINGTON (AP) - The fallout from the Gulf oil spill has
claimed its first casualty at the Interior Department.
Chris Oynes, who oversees offshore drilling programs at the
Minerals Management Service, will retire at the end of the month,
according to an e-mail sent by an agency official to staff and
obtained by The Associated Press. Oynes was regional director in
charge of Gulf of Mexico offshore oil programs for 13 years before
he was promoted in 2007 to associate director in charge of all
Oynes has come under criticism for being too close to the
industry the agency oversees. His departure comes as President
Barack Obama has vowed to end a "cozy relationship" between the
MMS and industry.