Teapot Dome Scandal, a political scandal of President Harding's administration. Teapot Dome was an area near Casper, Wyoming, set aside as a naval oil reserve (an oil field reserved for future use). In 1921 Harding's secretary of the interior, Albert B. Fall, arranged to have control over all naval oil reserves transferred from the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Interior. Shortly thereafter he leased the Teapot Dome reserve to Harry F. Sinclair and the Elk Hills reserve in California to E. L. Doheny. The leases were given without competitive bidding and each oilman loaned Fall large sums of money.
These dealings were revealed in 1923 and 1924 by a Senate investigating committee whose leading figure was Senator Thomas J. Walsh. The courts canceled the oil leases. Sinclair and Doheny were found innocent of conspiring to defraud the government. However, Fall was convicted of accepting a bribe and served a prison sentence. Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby was forced by public pressure to resign his office.