From Ohio History Central
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<p>Albert B. Fall served as Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America during President Warren G. Harding's administration. </p>
<p>In 1920, Harding, an Ohioan, won election as president of the United States of America. As president, for the most part, Harding proved to be a poor manager of the federal government. He delegated authority to his cabinet officials. These men became known as the "Ohio Gang,"because they supposedly were a gang of thieves from Ohio. In reality, most of the men linked to the Ohio Gang were not from Harding's home state.</p>
<p>Perhaps, the worst scandal of Harding's administration was the Teapot Dome Scandal, named for the Teapot Dome oilfield in Wyoming. Secretary of the Interior Fall rented government lands to oil companies in return for personal loans and gifts. The land in question existed in California and Wyoming. The federal government currently was holding oil under this land as a reserve for the United States Navy, but Fall decided to lease the land illegally to Mammoth Oil Company and to the Pan American Petroleum Company in return for the personal loans. In the end, Fall received approximately 404,000 dollars in loans or gifts from these two oil companies. Eventually the United States Senate launched an investigation of Fall's actions. He was found guilty of accepting money in return for the oil leases. Fall was convicted, fined 100,000 dollars and sentenced to one year in prison. The oilfields were returned to the United States Navy. The first cabinet official in United States history to be convicted of a felony, Fall resigned as Secretary of the Interior in 1923. His actions, along with those of several other of Harding's cabinet officials, caused a great deal of distrust of government officials among the American people and also solidified Harding's reputation as a poor president.</p>
<p>Upon being released from prison, Fall returned to the private sector. He died on December 1, 1944, in El Paso, Texas.</p>
Mee, Charles L. , Jr. <em>The Ohio Gang: The World of Warren G. Harding</em>. New York, NY: M. Evans, 1981.
#Murray, Robert K. <em>The Harding Era: Warren G. Harding and His Administration</em>. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1969.
#Murray, Robert K. <em>The Politics of Normalcy: Governmental Theory and Practice in the Harding-Coolidge Era</em>. New York, NY: Norton, 1973.
Trani, Eugene P, and David L. Wilson. <em>The Presidency of Warren G. Harding</em>. Lawrence: Regents Press of Kansas, 1977.
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