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posted: 7/26/2011 12:20 PM

Recusal policy reveals oil industry-gov't ties

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Documents obtained by the Associated Press show that ties between the offshore oil industry and government regulators persist -- even after the Obama administration instituted a new ethics policy to deter cozy relationships.

About 1 of every 5 employees involved in offshore inspections in the Gulf of Mexico has been recused from some duties because they could come in contact with a family member or friend. Ten recent hires are barred for two years from performing work where they could police their former employer.

The numbers come from more than 100 recusal forms filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation and obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act.

Agency director Michael Bromwich says the conflicts are "not crimes or badges of shame."