OSHA inspector, an animal rights activist, gave confidential information to Sea World foes. It’s like our EPA chief and her staff sending emails to “environmentalists” over secret email channels, ( an ever-expanding scandal) or IRS staffers targeting conservative groups. The federal government is now stuffed with regulators and bureaucrats from top to bottom, who are on a partisan mission to advance their cause.
The theme-park operator is also battling negative publicity surrounding the documentary “Blackfish,” about the death of the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, at SeaWorld in Florida. The film, and a campaign by animal-rights activists, led entertainers including Willie Nelson to cancel concerts at parks.
SeaWorld has obtained evidence that Padgett, the officer on the case, disclosed confidential information, “as well as documents submitted in conjunction with a confidential mediation before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” according to the letter. The evidence includes written and videotaped statements from a witness, SeaWorld said.
Padgett attended the “Blackfish” premiere and three festivals where the movie was shown, including the Sundance Film Festival, where she stayed free of charge at a home with people involved in making the picture and walked the red carpet with the cast and crew, according to SeaWorld’s complaint.
The company also cited numerous Facebook.com posts where Padgett allegedly cheered the film’s success and as well as media appearances by the filmmakers. In July of 2013, for example, she allegedly posted a link to a positive story about the film and wrote: “Wow … take that SeaWorld!!! They’ve got to be getting nervous now.”
SeaWorld “believes that Ms. Padgett’s disclosure of confidential information and other conduct reflect an intense bias and a desire to assist those in the animal rights community who have publicly, and for many years, demonstrated a desire to damage SeaWorld as a viable business,” the company said in the letter.
OSHA referred the matter to the Inspector General in January after allegations surfaced, Michael D’Aquino, a spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.
The Orlando Sentinel reported last month that OSHA was investigating Padgett’s conduct after photos of her socializing with “Blackfish” cast and crew appeared on the website Micechat.com.