Is he guilty of something real or was he an obstacle to the oil drilling plans in the Arctic? If the Obama administration approves drilling there, we might have a clue. The administration has been accommodating enough with Big Oil, so it's not an outrageous thought that they might be (again) siding with the oil industry. The Guardian:
Some question why Monnett, employed by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, has been suspended at this moment. The Obama administration has been accused of hounding the scientist so it can open up the fragile region to drilling by Shell and other big oil companies.
"You have to wonder: this is the guy in charge of all the science in the Arctic and he is being suspended just now as an arm of the interior department is getting ready to make its decision on offshore drilling in the Arctic seas," said Jeff Ruch, president of the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. "This is a cautionary tale with a deeply chilling message for any federal scientist who dares to publish groundbreaking research on conditions in the Arctic."
The group filed an official complaint on Monnett's behalf on Thursday, accusing the government of persecuting the (PDF) scientist and interfering with his work. It seeks his reinstatement and a public apology.