Climate scientist Charles Monnett wasn't suspended because of his 2006 polar bear report or his scientific work, according to reports.
Instead, new information about an issue that recently came about led to Monnett's suspension, a federal official said.
Michael Bromwich, director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation, sent an email to the agency's staff, which The Associated Press received on Friday.
The Associated Press learned from the email that Monnett was placed on administrative leave last week pending the results of an inspector general's investigation into "integrity issues."
A watchdog group said questioning by investigators focused on the polar bear observations but that Monnett hasn't been told of the specific allegations being investigated, the news agency said.
It was previously understood that the federal government suspended the wildlife biologist because the accuracy of his statistics is being evaluated.
Monnett's 2006 report on polar bears, co-written by Jeffrey Gleason, consisted of a seven-page observational report on the deaths of polar bears, and was a strong point for activists who warned of global warming affecting the animals. No action has been taken against Gleason as yet.
Their report found that because of the melting of the polar bears' habitat, cubs that swam away for long distances with their mothers would die along the way.
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...