ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The federal agency that protects employees against reprisals for whistleblowing is supporting an Alaska federal employee.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced Tuesday it’s filing a whistleblower retaliation complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board for Jeffrey Missal, an Interior Department regional environmental officer in Anchorage.

Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift had no immediate comment.

Missal in 2012 filed a complaint with the Interior Department’s inspector general, contending the department violated environmental regulations to facilitate Arctic oil exploration.

A senior employee launched an investigation of Missal, and the department fired Missal in January 2016.

In August 2017, the board ordered a 45-day reinstatement of Missal to his job, which has been extended.

Office of Special Counsel spokesman Zachary Kurz says the Interior Department has declined requested corrective action.

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