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In addition to issuing regulations that restrict economic growth and bankrupt industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also seriously mismanaged.
A Fox News exclusive story reveals that a number of agency bureaucrats were on paid administrative leave because of misconduct and received over a million dollars in compensation.
Eight Environmental Protection Agency employees who racked up a total of more than ten years’ worth of paid “administrative leave” between 2011 and 2014 — valued at more than $1,096,000 — apparently did so because they were involved in “cases of alleged serious misconduct,” Fox News has learned.
In a memorandum sent from EPA’s acting assistant administrator, Nanci E. Gelb, to EPA’s inspector general, Arthur Elkins — a draft also was given to Fox News — the agency has revealed that at least three of the affected employees have now left EPA.
All of the eight “were or are subject to a disciplinary process,” an EPA official told Fox News, adding that, “we cannot comment on the circumstances of their departure from the agency for those who are no longer employed by EPA.”
In one instance, an EPA employee was on paid leave for three years.
Managerial problems at the EPA are not new. Last year, John Beale – a high ranking official – was sent to jail because he was paid by the EPA while lying about his whereabouts. In an elaborate scheme, Beale concocted a story that he was a CIA agent and during his ten year scam, he fooled his EPA supervisors by telling them his absence from work was due to his role for the intelligence agency.
The new revelations about EPA employees being paid for not working was a result of an investigation from the agency’s inspector general office.
Consistent with its arrogant behavior, the EPA has interfered with the investigation of its staff.
In the intervening months, OIG has charged that various EPA officials have stonewalled its efforts to investigate the Beale scandal, and that a separate EPA branch for homeland security has illegally prevented OIG interviews of employees and kept other evidence out of the watchdogs’ hands.
The stonewalling also has been mentioned in a special letter signed by 47 of the administration’s 73 inspectors general, spread across a spectrum of government agencies, and complaining about “serious limitations on access to records” that were creating “potentially serious challenges” to “our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently and in a timely manner.”
Bad policy, gross mismanagement and intimidation of investigators are hallmarks of a government agency that is clearly out of control.