The judicial branch played a role in the Teapot Dome scandal. Unfortunately for President Harding, he appointed his friends to government jobs. These people often referred to as the Ohio Gang were involved in many scandals. The Teapot Dome scandal refers to oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California. The military (specifically the Navy) had set aside these oil reserves for times of emergencies or war. When Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall allowed private interests to lease these reserves in return for bribes, he had committed a crime. After an investigation occurred, Albert Fall was convicted of accepting bribes and was sentenced to time in prison by the courts. He was the first cabinet member to be sentenced to prison, and he is regarded as one of the worst cabinet members in our history. The Supreme Court also ruled the signed leases were illegal and invalidated them. The courts were actively involved in this case, and, therefore, played an important role in the Teapot Dome scandal.