Inspector general: EPA officials actively obstructed that crazy fraud investigation

posted at 4:41 pm on February 26, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

What’s worse than a high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official defrauding the agency over the course of twelve years by taking lengthy unexplained absences, doing very little actual work, stealing nearly one million dollars in the form of pay, bonuses, and airfare he didn’t deserve, and getting away with it all by cultivating an enigmatic reputation and telling his superiors (including now-EPA chief Gina McCarthy) that he was performing joint government work for the CIA vaguely related to climate change?

Other EPA officials actively obstructing the investigation into the whole mess, that’s what. The WFB reports on a letter from the EPA inspector general to Sen. David Vitter released on Wednesday, wherein the IG describes how several agency employees tried to get in the way of getting to the bottom of the ordeal:

EPA employees threatened Inspector General investigators, refused to cooperate, and handed out non-disclosure agreements to other employees to keep them from being interviewed, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. wrote in response to a request for information by Vitter on the case.

“Over the past 12 months, there have been several EPA officials who have taken action to prevent [the Office of Investigations] OI from conducting investigations or have attempted to obstruct investigations through intimidation,” Elkins wrote. …

After closing its criminal investigation, the Inspector General began an audit of the lack of internal controls that allowed Beale to defraud the agency. That audit has implicated a growing number of EPA officials. …

“During the course of an OI administrative investigation, Mr. [Steve Williams in the EPA's Office of Homeland Security] approached an OI special agent in a threatening manner, preventing the special agent from conducting her official duties in an ongoing investigation involving Mr. Williams and other members of OHS,” Elkins wrote. “Additionally, Mr. Williams issued non-disclosure agreements to EPA employees that prevented these employees from cooperating with [the Office of the Inspector General] OIG investigations.”

Gee, whiz. I’m sure these EPA employees were eager to limit the scope of the investigations in order to A) thwart any further personal implications on the part of other EPA employees’ mistakes and oversights in allowing Beale’s charade to go on as long as it did, and B) to prevent any political fallout from the agency’s collective incompetence and bureaucratic lassitude those investigations might reveal — because it’s not like the EPA was at the Supreme Court, oh, yesterday fighting charges of a yet another unprecedented regulatory power grab, or anything. Most Transparent Administration, Evah.


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Makes you wonder how many other government employees are ripping us off.

cozmo on February 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

There is only one solution to these problems, the agencies must be eliminated.

They could be defunded in big steps.. 50% of last years budget for several years..

Or they could just be eliminated. The authorizing legislation could be revoked.

But it’s them or us.

CrazyGene on February 26, 2014 at 4:50 PM

several agency employees tried to get in the way of getting to the bottom of the ordeal

If you are a liberal, or a federal employee (nearly one and the same, but not quite), shouldn’t you want the government to actually root out such illegality and crass waste, in order to increase the confidence Americans have in their government institutions to actually do something…ANYTHING…effectively?

No, I guess not. You don’t want that. Government should just grow, grow, grow. Screw the law, institutional effectiveness, and any kind of confidence people might have in government. Just lie about it. Enough voters will buy it to keep you in power.*

*True story.

xNavigator on February 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Our government is completely out of control…

d1carter on February 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Most corrupt administration in the last 70 years.

sadatoni on February 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Gee, whiz. I’m sure these EPA employees were eager to limit the scope of the investigations in order to A) thwart any further personal implications on the part of other EPA employees’ mistakes and oversights in allowing Beale’s charade to go on as long as it did, and B) to prevent any political fallout from the agency’s collective incompetence and bureaucratic lassitude those investigations might reveal — because it’s not like the EPA was at the Supreme Court, oh, yesterday fighting charges of a yet another unprecedented regulatory power grab, or anything. Most Transparent Administration, Evah.

Time to start the countdown on the attacks to discredit the IG…

..as well as for the Administration to cite the ‘Elastic Clause’ of the US Constitution as justification for their actions….

Athos on February 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Our government is completely out of control…

d1carter on February 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Been that way for decades per the article, nothing really new here.

Johnnyreb on February 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Hmmmm….obstructing a federal Inspector General.

Isn’t that a crime?

Why hasn’t the IG called the US Marshalls and have the obstructors perp-walked into a paddy wagon?

That would be guaranteed to get those “let me tell you what I know” juices flowing………

BobMbx on February 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

The EPI, yet another part of the Obama Crime Family.

VorDaj on February 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Holder? Holder? FBI? Car 54 where are you?

jake49 on February 26, 2014 at 5:17 PM

****Heads UP:

Arizona anti-gay bill
3m
Sources say Gov. Jan Brewer will be announcing her decision to veto SB1062 at 4:45 today – @KVOA
see original on twitter.com

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 5:20 PM

There is only one solution to these problems, the agencies must be eliminated.

CrazyGene on February 26, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Works for me. If the DoD can be gutted literally over a couple of years there is no reason why we couldn’t shut down the EPA tomorrow. Throw them all out on the streets.

Here in DC, a neighbor works for the EPA. He was clearly pissed when the shutdown ended and he had to go back to work the next day. Left a bad taste in my mouth that the bastard was irritated that his two-week paid vacation was cut short.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2014 at 5:25 PM

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 5:20 PM

There’s no way she won’t cave in to the gay bigots.

Mimzey on February 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Sources say Gov. Jan Brewer will be announcing her decision to veto SB1062 at 4:45 today

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Clearly a victim of gay bullies. But she’s going to be facing an awful lot of wrath from the right for deciding to go anti-business and pro-sodomite bully.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2014 at 5:27 PM

OT but since it’s the EPA not off by far:

Smell of forest pine can limit climate change – researchers

New research suggests a strong link between the powerful smell of pine trees and climate change.

Scientists say they’ve found a mechanism by which these scented vapours turn into aerosols above boreal forests.

These particles promote cooling by reflecting sunlight back into space and helping clouds to form.

The research, published in the journal Nature, fills in a major gap in our understanding, researchers say.

“If you go into a pine forest and notice that pine forest smell, that could be the smell that actually limits climate change from reaching such levels that it could become really a problem in the world.”

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Makes you wonder how many other government employees are ripping us off.

cozmo on February 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

For every one caught like this one, there probably 100 more in varying degrees of the rip off. When no one cares to audit and question expenditures, nip it in the bud and severely punish such behavior, you only continue to get more of the same.

hawkeye54 on February 26, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Hmmmm….obstructing a federal Inspector General.

Isn’t that a crime?

BobMbx on February 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Only for Rethuglikkkans.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 26, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Our government is completely out of control…

d1carter on February 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Been that way for decades per the article, nothing really new here.

Johnnyreb on February 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Our government is still completely out of control…

d1carter on February 26, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Makes you wonder how many other government employees are ripping us off.

cozmo on February 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

The numbers would be staggering if known. Every government agency is absolutely wasting at least 20% of their budget. Government employees treat taxpayer money like their own personal bank accounts. There is no sense of fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers. These clowns need to be removed from the public payroll and prosecuted for theft and dereliction.

Doomsday on February 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Most transparent[ly corrupt] administration EVER!

Socratease on February 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Is it still illegal to cross three lanes of oncoming traffic to run over an EPA employee, if you see one?

Still is, huh?

Pity, that.

orangemtl on February 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM

That audit has implicated a growing number of EPA officials. …

FIRE EVERY DAMN ONE OF THEM!

GarandFan on February 26, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Can’t wait until they get this lot before a Grand Jury, including McCarthy.

Another Drew on February 26, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Smell of forest pine can limit climate change – researchers

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

.
How about Pine-Sol Cleaner? Will that work?

ExpressoBold on February 26, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Strange how an agency charged with declaring and attempting to limit CO2 as dangerous to all Humankind, and is unable to control the real pollution in its own midst, to the extent that it enables its continuance and metastasis.

vnvet on February 26, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Smell of forest pine can limit climate change – researchers

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Homeopathy

The “tincture” argument on the grand scale.

You have no idea how much I, as an actual lab geek who had to prove every single thing I ever did (usually in a court of law), loathe these delusional, pseudomystical, nihilistic, authoritarian would-be “gurus”.

“Researchers” they may be. “Scientists” they sure as Hell ain’t.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 26, 2014 at 8:06 PM

The is only one solution

A MUCH SMALLER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

No laws or regulations can be written or enforced that will rein in the employees of a government this large. They have essentially unlimited funds and no expectation that they will have to answer for anything, ever.

Do we have a political party that actually wants smaller government? Do we have an electorate that will vote for it?

pilsener on February 26, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Makes you wonder how many other government employees are ripping us off.

cozmo on February 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

…I don’t wonder!…20%…at least!

KOOLAID2 on February 26, 2014 at 11:03 PM

It’s nearly time to begin the “pruning” of the tree of liberty.
It won’t be pretty.
If you keep poking a wolverine with a sharp stick, you eventually get your balls ripped off.
Watch Connecticut and NY.
III

Sgt Stryker on February 26, 2014 at 11:21 PM

EPA employees threatened Inspector General investigators, refused to cooperate, and handed out non-disclosure agreements to other employees to keep them from being interviewed, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. wrote in response to a request for information by Vitter on the case.

FIRE THEM ALL !!!

J_Crater on February 27, 2014 at 2:04 AM

So how many of these EPA employees have been fired for this?

LOL. Yeah, that’s what I figured.

AZCoyote on February 27, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Is it still illegal to cross three lanes of oncoming traffic to run over an EPA employee, if you see one?

orangemtl on February 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Well, it’s illegal to cross three lanes of traffic (especially oncoming) at once. The morality of the second part is still being debated………….

GWB on February 27, 2014 at 9:12 AM

kcewa on February 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

That powerful pine aroma being aerosolized off the forest is made up of hydrocarbons – crude oil is made up of hydrocarbons.

EPA knows this and, during the Exxon Valdez spill, they actucally used the knowledge to clean some beaches. Pine tar runoff from the forest floors leach into Prince William Sound is the primary feed for a microbe, the populations of which EPA, using liquid fertilizer on land and granular fertilizer in the water, was able to increase by multiple orders of magnitude. The microbe adapted itself to eating oil and did an outstanding job breaking the hydrocarbon chains down and clearing the beaches of oil. It was so effective, you could write your name with liquid fertilizer and read it on clean rocks weeks later.

Pine forests produce “pollution.” All natural systems do.

If nature was regulated, EPA would shut it down.

Cricket624 on February 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Obama has done the same thin g by anointing Holder as AG. Holder has covered obama’s ass for years. Now is time to charge these people with racketeering. The very life of our country is being snuffed out daily by corrupt government officials while the working people’s apathy is just as guilty as the criminals actions.

harvey1 on February 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Strange how an agency charged with declaring and attempting to limit CO2 as dangerous to all Humankind, and is unable to control the real pollution in its own midst, to the extent that it enables its continuance and metastasis.

vnvet on February 26, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Maybe they would do the right thing if we point out to them that every EPA employee fired means less CO2 emissions from the EPA itself???!!!

….nahhhhhhh…..leftists never respond to logic or truth…

landlines on February 27, 2014 at 12:12 PM