Washington, DC – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) released the following statement:
“This afternoon, I was informed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that the Forest Service had taped calls either to or from the Forest Service dispatch center over a lengthy period of time, which included the Station Fire. The Secretary had just been made aware of this information, and he informed me that he was ordering an Inspector General’s investigation.
“I am concerned with the late discovery of these recorded conversations by the Forest Service, and the fact that these calls appear to have been recorded without the knowledge or consent of some or all of the parties to these calls. I hope the Inspector General investigation will get to the bottom of how this recording system was established, for what purpose and under what authorization, as well as whether any laws were violated by it.
“I am also keenly interested in whether the calls to or from the dispatch center during the Station Fire can shed light on the important issues that have been raised, and that are the subject of our Congressional Panel on Aug. 10. It is my hope that the transcripts of these calls will be available in time for our Panel; but this may not be possible. If not, it may be necessary to hold a subsequent hearing upon their completion.
“I want to commend Secretary Vilsack for ordering the Inspector General’s investigation of the recordings, and for instructing all of his staff to provide full cooperation with our inquiry on Aug. 10.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 10, Rep. Schiff will convene a Congressional panel with his colleagues, Reps. David Dreier, Howard “Buck” McKeon and Judy Chu, on the initial attack on the Station Fire last year. The panel will convene at 10 a.m. at Volosh Forum at Pasadena City College (1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106).