EPA employee to plead guilty of stealing $900,000 from the government, and other scandals

posted at 9:21 pm on September 5, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of exciting plans for wide-ranging and economy-impeding environmental regulations coming down the pipeline, but at least we can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that particularly zealous and independent federal agency is such a shining example of the Obama administration’s famed honesty and transparency as well as a paragon of bureaucratic competence.

I kid, of course.

First, here’s an update on the continuing saga of the life and times of Richard Windsor — and if you’ve never actually heard of Richard Windsor, that’s because it’s the fictional alter email ego of one Lisa Jackson, former head of Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency. Jackson conducted a good bit of official EPA business on the undisclosed email account in what looks an awful lot like a deliberate attempt to skirt FOIA laws, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is following up. Via The Hill:

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify before House Republicans who allege that she shielded agency business from public view by using secondary and perhaps personal email accounts.

Jackson, now a top environmental official at the tech giant Apple, is among the current and former federal officials slated to appear at the Sept. 10 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled “Preventing Violations of Federal Transparency Laws.”

“Officials in multiple Administrations have struggled to fully comply, and in some instances willfully flaunted, federal transparency and record keeping laws through their use of non-official e-mail and other electronic communications to conduct official government business,” committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement announcing the hearing.

Now, for today’s truly bizarre report from the Washington Post on the upcoming trial of a longtime, high-level EPA employee who managed to deceive the steal hundreds of thousands of dollars and deceive the agency about his actual job and whereabouts, for over twelve years.

Over the past 12 years, John C. Beale was often away from his job as a high-level staffer at the Environmental Protection Agency. He cultivated an air of mystery and explained his lengthy absences by telling his bosses that he was doing top-secret work, including for the CIA.

For years, apparently, no one checked.

Now, Beale is charged with stealing nearly $900,000 from the EPA by receiving pay and bonuses he did not deserve. He faces up to three years in prison.

Beale, 64, who was a senior policy adviser in the Office of Air and Radiation, is expected to plead guilty at a hearing scheduled for Monday at U.S. District Court in Washington. …

At agency headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue, Beale fostered an enigmatic image. He frequently traveled to China, South Africa and England, according to several people who worked with him. …

It really just fills you with confidence for our huge, sprawling federal bureaucracy, doesn’t it?

And finally, a wildly discouraging but little noticed report from the EPA inspector general. It appears that the people writing our complex, far-reaching, and ideologically driven environmental regulations… have a scientific-inquiry integrity problem. Great.

The Environmental Protection Agency didn’t develop a program to instruct employees on the standards of scientific inquiry and the agency has not generated an annual report on the status of scientific integrity within the agency, an Aug. 28 EPA inspector general report (.pdf) says. …

The policy originated from a Dec. 17, 2010 memo (.pdf) from the Office of Science and Technology Policy that provided guidance to strengthen actual and perceived credibility of government research.

The policy tasks the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Committee with developing a training program and producing an annual report, the report says.

Because the EPA failed to implement the two tasks, the agency doesn’t know if its employees are complying with the policy and can’t detect violations of scientific integrity, the report says.


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If this was real Chicago Thug Politics, someone wasn’t getting their cut, that’s why they got caught.

bflat879 on September 5, 2013 at 9:26 PM

This EPA guy was so good at not showing up that Obama is considering him for a personal consultant.

patman77 on September 5, 2013 at 9:27 PM

900,000…
Chump change…

Electrongod on September 5, 2013 at 9:27 PM

But, but, but #SequesterSquatch or something!

Resist We Much on September 5, 2013 at 9:28 PM

He’ll be pardoned if some of that dough went to the DNC….

dentarthurdent on September 5, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Three years sentence, 30 days served.

williampeck1958 on September 5, 2013 at 9:38 PM

EPA: “Integrity? We don’t need no stinking integrity!”

slickwillie2001 on September 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Hey Ted & Mike…add the EPA to your list of defunding or dismantling useless federal agencies.

workingclass artist on September 5, 2013 at 9:52 PM

He’ll be pardoned if some of that dough went to the DNC….

dentarthurdent on September 5, 2013 at 9:35 PM

And then parlay this resume enhancer to elected office…

workingclass artist on September 5, 2013 at 9:53 PM

He’ll be pardoned if some of that dough went to the DNC….

dentarthurdent on September 5, 2013 at 9:35 PM

He might have to say he’s sorry first. You never know.

Oh.. I still remember Boehner out there in front of the mic saying about the IRS scandal.. “It’s not about who will resign or get fired.. it’s about who will go to jail!” or some such thing.

Anyone ever get a wrist slap yet? And where’s Boehner?

JellyToast on September 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

…another “Leave of Absence”?

KOOLAID2 on September 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Shut it down, the whole freakin agency. Wealth redistributors is all this enviromental justice agency is.

D-fusit on September 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Anyone ever get a wrist slap yet? And where’s Boehner?

JellyToast on September 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Beener is too busy polishing Obumble’s, uhhhh, shoes…..

dentarthurdent on September 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM

900 thou? Hah! Pfft! Loser’s almost as cheap a crook as a Clinton.

M240H on September 5, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Beale is charged with stealing nearly $900,000 from the EPA by receiving pay and bonuses he did not deserve

If government employees are going to be expected to deserve their pay and bonuses, the whole bureaucracy will come to an end.

malclave on September 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

The article didn’t say if he was planning on filing a greivance.

BobMbx on September 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM

I’d go to a country club minimum security prison camp for three years to $900,000.

HiJack on September 5, 2013 at 11:25 PM

No big deal.

Jack$on will just steal a few million more while on administrative leave paid vacation.

viking01 on September 5, 2013 at 11:50 PM

We don’t need no stinking rules, WE MAKE THE RULES!

GarandFan on September 6, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Stealing from us, not the government, Erika.

Us.

Not that the government does not steal from us every single day.

Sherman1864 on September 6, 2013 at 12:27 AM

The whole EPA should be defunded and its regulations set aside as a condition to any debt ceiling deals.

flataffect on September 6, 2013 at 1:50 AM

the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Committee

REALLY ?

Lordy. I needed a good laugh.

hillbillyjim on September 6, 2013 at 3:26 AM

Now this is a true criminal scandal–the others are just dictatorial crimes which are never prosecuted while the complicit opposition reduces them to mere scandals.

Don L on September 6, 2013 at 5:10 AM

It’s time to prosecute all the illegal acts taking place in the Obama administration.

sadatoni on September 6, 2013 at 7:58 AM

The former leader is a liar and a scofflaw; a senior employee is a thief whose supervisors do not know and/or do not care where he is when he is traveling the world and stealing money instead of being at work; and they have no idea if any of the “research” they are doing follows accepted scientific standards for integrity and credibility? And these are the guys that we want to provide the basis on which environmental laws and policies are implemented?

I guess stuff like that used to matter in the past when the EPA was capable of operating with some degree of respectability and doind some meaningful research. In these times I guess all that matters is if they can fudge their “research” to the degree that it supports Obama’s agenda!

rockncoal on September 6, 2013 at 11:25 AM