How to get a paycheck from the EPA without really trying: Telework without working, or go to the office and watch porn

posted at 1:21 pm on May 7, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

If you can read this addendum to yesterday’s EPA post without slamming your head onto your desk, I salute you.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that inspectors general are up in arms over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Homeland Security operating as a “rogue law enforcement agency” and agency employees actively blocking their investigations into employee misconduct. The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on these alleged improprieties this morning, and according to the prepared testimony of Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Allan Williams, last year’s case of former employee John C. Beale defrauding taxpayers of nearly a million dollars while pretending to be a CIA operative was just the beginning of the waste/fraud/abuse.

An employee at the Environmental Protection Agency downloaded more than 7,000 pornographic files onto a government computer and viewed them for two to six hours a day, according to the agency’s independent watchdog.

The worker, who wasn’t identified, was watching pornography when a special agent showed up at his work space, Allan Williams, the EPA’s deputy assistant inspector general for investigations, told lawmakers today.

“True deterrence of employee misconduct at the EPA ultimately rests with agency executives and managers to set a tone that ensures such behavior will not be condoned,” Williams told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. …

The employee caught viewing pornography is still on the payroll, earning about $120,000 a year, and the case has been referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, Williams said.

Not only did that employee earn six figures — he earned, ahem, “performance rewards.” Via the WFB:

Rep. John Mica (R., Fla) questioned Allan Williams, the deputy assistant inspector general for investigations at the House Oversight Committee over the employees’ “work activities.”

“So this guy is making $120,000, spending two to six hours a day looking at porno. Then this information I have is he received performance awards during the time period?” Mica asked Williams.

Williams responded, “Uh, he possibly did. Yes, sir.”

In an entirely separate instance, another manager allowed an employee to collect full pay and benefits without reporting to work. It reportedly started out as a work-from-home accommodation for a medical condition, except that the employee wasn’t actually doing any work either — and yet managed to collect a casual $500,000 or so over several years, as well as cash bonuses based on excellent performance appraisals. Astounding.

As Chairman Issa put it in the hearing this morning, the EPA is “running an organization from which no one can get fired.” Who wants to make bets about this kind of waste, fraud, incompetence, negligence, and lack of oversight being unique to the 16,000 employees of the Environmental Protection Agency?


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The EPA also refuses to comply with their own IG, thugs that they are.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I would rather pay them all to do nothing.

How can we get the rest of EPA to “work from home”?

It is still going to end up cheaper for the nation to pay them for nothing if it keeps electricity prices in check.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

…they can’t get fired!

KOOLAID2 on May 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Time for a ‘Reset’

Seven Percent Solution on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Testimony before the U.S. House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee
May 7, 2014
Assault, Obstruction, and
Inaction by Agency Officials
Elisabeth Heller Drake
Special Agent, Office of Inspector General, U.S. EPA

Excerpts:

On Thursday, October 24, 2013, fellow EPA OIG Special Agent Ryan Smith and I had a difficult interview with EPA Office of Homeland Security (OHS) employee John Martin. We extended him the courtesy of having his personal attorney present, but he would not answer even basic questions.

At this time, Mr. Williams aggressively approached me, yelling “Put it in writing!” He stepped between me and Mr. Martin in a menacing way, again screaming to “Put it in writing!” and demanding to know where the standard protocol I was addressing was documented. Williams invaded my personal space, pointing and yelling, to a degree that it became difficult to understand what he was saying.He repeatedly jabbed his finger at me, merely inches from my chest, and as he got more aggressive, his complexion heated, his veins bulged, and he began to sweat profusely.

The fact I had a sidearm holstered out of sight under my suit jacket did not make any difference; I was not chasing a criminal on the street, but rather in an environment where I never would have expected such behavior from a professional staff member. Avoiding unnecessary physical contact, I stepped back from Mr. Williams.

In spite of my clear notice that I was a federal law enforcement officer, he again
started yelling at me. I thought back to my research and recalled that he was not only a GS-15, but also a Naval Reserves Captain, making his tirade and interference with my official duties all the more surprising.

Back at the OIG office, we reported the assault to management, leading other agents to return to the Office of Homeland Security to investigate. Martin had left; Ms. Dunham and Mr. Williams said they were too stressed to be interviewed.

Whether Mr. Williams attacked and intimidated me that evening because I am female and so felt he could get away with it, and whether he has acted in a threatening manner towards other females in the workplace, are questions for another time and place. I instead am here to relay what happened that night and EPA’s response to it out of concern about OIG not being allowed to do its job.

Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Cummings, we are now more than six months out from the events of October 24, yet I believe the investigation underway the day of the assault continues to go uninvestigated.

Elisabeth Heller Drake is a GS-13 Special Agent (Criminal Investigator) with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General, where she has
worked since January 2013. She also has worked as a Special Agent for the Offices of Inspector General of the Government Printing Office and the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to her time as a federal agent, she worked for four years as a Department of Defense, Defense Security Service background
investigator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice from George Mason University, where she was an honor student. In her seven years in federal law enforcement she twice has received a Special Act of Service Award for
her investigative work.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Reposting this from yesterdays thread. This woman was accosted if not outright assaulted by EPA higherups. How is this not a bigger story?

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Why does the EPA need a Homeland Security office???…

PatriotRider on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Ejaculation Power Award

Rix on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

If you can read this addendum to yesterday’s EPA post without slamming your head onto your desk, I salute you.

Head slammed.

On the other hand, at least they weren’t harassing American citizens.

rbj on May 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

The employee caught viewing pornography is still on the payroll, earning about $120,000 a year, and the case has been referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, Williams said.

…they’ll require him…to have lotion…visibly… noticeable…at his desk!

KOOLAID2 on May 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

How can we get the rest of EPA to “work from home”?

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

How about we turn the EPA into one big “home” and retire them?

de rigueur on May 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

I’d more than happy to see the next Republican Candidate for President determine that a short-term auditing program of every governmental agency would be implemented to identify current costs as associated with processes, and to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.

lineholder on May 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Performance awards. For watching p0rn.
Uh huh. Wait til Barry reads about this one.
Government gone wild.

Brat on May 7, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Let’s have the gubment run our healthcare system.

Bishop on May 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

EverClear will want to comment on this topic….

ToddPA on May 7, 2014 at 1:36 PM

…and Weedisgood….

ToddPA on May 7, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Why does the EPA need a Homeland Security office???…

PatriotRider on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

So they can storm your house if they think you killed a Delta Smelt.

Occams Stubble on May 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

The idea of a no show salaried position intrigues me. Tell me more about this free money you speak of.

jhffmn on May 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I’d more than happy to see the next Republican Candidate for President determine that a short-term auditing program of every governmental agency would be implemented to identify current costs as associated with processes, and to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.

lineholder on May 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

He or she should take a cue from Obama and simply will zero-based budgeting into existence.

Occams Stubble on May 7, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Performance awards. For watching p0rn.
Uh huh. Wait til Barry reads about this one.
Government gone wild.

Brat on May 7, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Obviously this guy was hired during the Clinton administration.

Occams Stubble on May 7, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Why does the EPA need a Homeland Security office???…

PatriotRider on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Its the political office of government agencies. Get with the times, comrade.

BobMbx on May 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

How about we turn the EPA into one big “home” and retire them?

de rigueur on May 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

We did have a giant need for EPA circa 1970. Their roll has expanded immensely since that point.

I think we do have a place in our Federal government for such an agency, simply to settle matters of pollution and emissions crossing state lines and bodies of water that happen to border multiple states or rivers that pass through multiple states. Beyond that, the states can handle the rest.

EPA should be there to settle disputes between and among the states. They should not be driving the policy that sets policy in lieu of the states doing so.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Why does the EPA need a Homeland Security office???…

PatriotRider on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

I don’t know why. But it is a nasty combination of a bureaucracy within a bureaucracy. Nothing good can come from it.

Brat on May 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Shut it down – ALL of it.

dentarthurdent on May 7, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Why does EPA have 417 people who need passports!?! They regulate the environment in the UNITED STATES!

OITA is not in compliance with agency guidance
over the control and security of sensitive personally
identifiable information—specifically, official and
diplomatic passports issued to agency employees.
OITA lacks a formal written policy and procedure
for issuing, monitoring and securing passports.
Limited reliance can be placed on OITA’s Passport Expiration Notification System
to track and identify the location of EPA issued passports.

Of the 417 passports purported to be in OITA’s possession, 199 could not be
located. OITA has not enforced its passport guidance of having staff return
passports after travel. Lack of compliance with agency guidance may put the
agency in the position where sensitive personally identifiable information is not
being adequately protected.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Why does the EPA need a Homeland Security office???…

PatriotRider on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Because it allows them to not comply with the Inspector General over EPA, and they aren’t big enough fish to be looked at by the IG over Homeland Security.

A bureaucrat’s dream, operating in a space with zero accountability.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

But remember, you’re still not taxed enough to pay for all this hard work.

JeremiahJohnson on May 7, 2014 at 1:52 PM

So they can storm your house if they think you killed a Delta Smelt.

Occams Stubble on May 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

What if you dealt a killer smelt?

Or smelled a delta kilt?

Midas on May 7, 2014 at 1:55 PM

EPA should be there to settle disputes between and among the states.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

What are Federal courts for? That was how it was done before this Nixonian nightmare was started.

de rigueur on May 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

It’s a good thing the government didn’t get shutdown or something.

Midas on May 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Ho hum, Bureaucracy fails again

Take a moment and think about it. Over all the history of all the nations and civilizations of humanity when has bureaucracy ever NOT Failed?

There is only one way to avoid these problems: Eliminate Bureaucracy.

Kill off all non-essential bureaucracies: EPA, FEC, FCC, BLM, HHS, DHS, … the list goes on. Just cut their budgets to zero and repeal the authorizing legislation.

Find alternative ways of performing other functions supposedly done by bureaucrats.

There should be no “careers in public service”. NONE !!! Nothing that goes on there is intrinsically complex enough to require “career” players. (The complexity is all self-generated by the bureaucrats themselves. If you are in government or a big commercial bureaucracy you’ll have to really declutch your brain and think about things to realize this because you have been “brainwashed” by your environment. If you aren’t in one of those things, just go to a few public meeting or listen to the natives, you’ll be amazed.)

CrazyGene on May 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

You should look at this from an alternative POV; what he’s doing while he’s watching porn is probably a lot more honest and a lot less harmful than what he does whenever he’s doing his REAL job.

In fact, I think our country would be far better off if every employee of the EPA did nothing but watch porn all day.

Tom Servo on May 7, 2014 at 1:58 PM

I know people who have worked for the federal government at a professional level for most or all of their careers.
They all say this is not unusual to have entire offices that literally do nothing for years, or are so overstaffed that it’s nearly impossible to stay busy more than an hour a day. Their outrage is depleted and now wait for that sweet retirement.

Tard on May 7, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Occams Stubble on May 7, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Oh, yes! Zero-based budgeting would be an excellent approach in this context.

lineholder on May 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Ok, have to pass along a headline on this topic from another site:

Alternative Energy: High-Wanking EPA Staffer Watches Porn For 2-6 Hours EVERY DAY

climbnjump on May 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM

The EPA, Dept of Education, Bureau of Indian Affaires, Homeland Security (and security privately run) need to be eliminated as totally useless and a waste of taxpayers money.

leader4hru on May 7, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Late breaking bulletin from MSM:
move along….nothing to see here….

marks on May 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Need I remind everyone that it was that infamous b*st*rd of a President (aka Richard Nixon) that gave us this ch*ck*nsh*t agency?

My collie says:

And somehow, people were expecting something better from the agency than this?

I guess we simply weren’t paying attention, collie.

Maybe we could make amends by naming the agency after Barack Obama.

CyberCipher on May 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM

The employee caught viewing pornography is still on the payroll, earning about $120,000 a year, and the case has been referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, Williams said.

Yeah, Eric Holder will get right on this.

GarandFan on May 7, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Homeland Security operating as a “rogue law enforcement agency”…

Would anyone care to explain why the EPA would need an OHS office in the first place?

EvilMonk on May 7, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Here is how you rein in executive branch pet projects.

Break all funding into work units—work units that are not in compliance with their IGs dont recieve funding. Explain the reason for the reduction when things come to a vote.

Now the executive branch may not agree with the funding but they will get the message or they will continue to get funding cuts.

I call that a win-win.

OpportunityCost on May 7, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Keep in mind that EPA is staffed predominantly by deep-eco fanatics with ties to the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, etc. They are devoted to the nihilistic philosophy of destroying Western civilization and replacing it with Neolithic-level agrarian feudalism/socialism, to “Save Holy Mother Gaia”.

So it shouldn’t be too big a surprise that, being basically 1960s hippie/Woodstock burnout cases, they also have that whole “Free Love”/ Free To Be MEEEE!!” thing going.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Can I just say ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!! This makes me sooooo MAD!

Government agencies SHOULD and NEED to be designed to watch these kind of things much, much more carefully than any other business.

Other businesses have the check and balance of needing to be profitable. Government not having that should be watching very closely for waste because the money belongs to the PEOPLE.

Of course current government doesn’t think that way. They think the money belongs to them and they decide how much to let you keep. They use YOUR money to reward their friends, to be lazy in their oversight and to fund their agenda.

This is YOUR money. FIGHT for it. FIGHT to keep it and spend it as you wish: on your kids, on your house, on your vacation, on socks, on whatever YOU want! MAKE them be responsible to you. If you don’t fight you deserve this kind of government.

Annielou on May 7, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Let’s have the gubment run our healthcare system.

Bishop on May 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Yep, they’re doing such a great job at the V.A. taking care of 2% of the population, let’s go straight to single payer, and make ALL of us go through gummint for our health care, just as long as we get rid of those EVVIILLL insurance firms, eh?
Don’t you trust your gummint to do things right, much less do the right things?

DublOh7 on May 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

So they can storm your house if they think you killed a Delta Smelt.

Occams Stubble on May 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Do I now need to ask about the source of the fried smelt dinner special at the Clambake?

dentarthurdent on May 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Why does the EPA need a Homeland Security office???…

PatriotRider on May 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Cuz they’ve got a bunch of enviro-wacko Barney Fife’s lookin to make use of all the surplus military gear they got.
Barney’s got a lot more than one bullet now – and he wants to put that shiite to good use!!!

dentarthurdent on May 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Telework without working, or go to the office and watch porn

Helluva job if you can get it.
I’m jealous – they won’t let us watch that stuff where I work…..

dentarthurdent on May 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM

The EPA will gladly pay somebody $120k to watch A Tale of Two Titties all day, but they won’t let anybody generate electricity by burning evil, dirty, rotten natural gas, because all that horrible soda pop gas will cook the planet! Those evil gas frackers and burners must be CRUCIFIED!

Until the Easy Preezy plugs in his Chevy Volt all night but the battery stays dead…

Steve Z on May 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Performance awards. For watching p0rn.
Uh huh. Wait til Barry reads about this one.
Government gone wild.

Brat on May 7, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Barry would probably ask to join the guy. Better than looking at Mooch all night…

Steve Z on May 7, 2014 at 3:46 PM

What are Federal courts for? That was how it was done before this Nixonian nightmare was started.

de rigueur on May 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

That’s the problem.
The environmental situation in the US was precarious to say the least prior to EPA. Past successes, however, do not condone current behavior and overreach.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Work there.

WryTrvllr on May 7, 2014 at 3:49 PM

I am awaiting the inevitable disability claim due to “carpal tunnel syndrome” from all that “hard word”

LarryinLA on May 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

The EPA will gladly pay somebody $120k to watch A Tale of Two Titties all day, but they won’t let anybody generate electricity by burning evil, dirty, rotten natural gas, because all that horrible soda pop gas will cook the planet! Those evil gas frackers and burners must be CRUCIFIED!

Until the Easy Preezy plugs in his Chevy Volt all night but the battery stays dead…

Steve Z on May 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Not entirely true, but close.

The New Source Performace Standards for power plants sets the CO2 emissions threshold at a point that coal plants cannot meet the standard, thus only allowing natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar to build new facilities. Hydro is difficult because it is nearly impossible to build a new facility due to environmental impacts on aquatic life (salmon migrations, etc).

We all know that nuclear is heavily regulated, and not likely to build many new facilities in the near future.

Also, EPA is attempting to limit natural gas production through their assault on fracking.

No coal, and increased prices for natural gas.

They are trying to create a market in which renewables are cost competitive, but they don’t even attempt to address the issue of base demand. You need coal/nuclear/gas/hydro to back up every MW of renewable for times when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.

The result of all of the above is that energy prices must necessarily skyrocket.

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 3:53 PM

How can we get the rest of EPA to “work from home”?

airupthere on May 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Personally I’d prefer if they all decided to quit voluntarily. How you ask? Win the 2016 Presidential election, then call together the high level managers of the EPA… “In order to provide better oversight of environmental issues, I have decided that the entire department shall be moved to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, effective immediately.”

dominigan on May 7, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Maybe this is why the moron Eric Holder is attacking the porn industry, to keep greedy-union government workers on the job!

slickwillie2001 on May 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Who wants to make bets about this kind of waste, fraud, incompetence, negligence, and lack of oversight being unique to the 16,000 employees of the Environmental Protection Agency?

Coming soon: Harry Reid to call these men the “hardest workers he’s ever met” and anyone who thinks otherwise (with proof) liars.

Effay5 on May 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

The employee caught viewing pornography is still on the payroll, earning about $120,000 a year, and the case has been referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, Williams said.

If he’s white, he has no chance. This is the most racist Justice Department since the 1940′s.

Closing the EPA would be the best choice. Paying these guys to do nothing would be the second best choice. The less they do, the better off we are.

jya lai on May 7, 2014 at 7:20 PM