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Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:56 PM

Top EPA official, watchdog engaged in a standoff that inspector general calls a 'flagrant problem'

Source: Washington Post



Environmental Protection Agency officials are in a standoff with the agency’s independent watchdog over a probe of EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson’s efforts to influence a scientist ahead of her congressional testimony.

In a letter released publicly Wednesday, acting EPA inspector general Charles J. Sheehan informed Congress that his office had encountered a “flagrant problem” in light of Jackson’s refusal to cooperate with an ongoing audit and investigation focused on his activities while in office. “To countenance open defiance even in one instance — much less two, both by a senior official setting precedent for himself and all agency staff — is ruinous,” Sheehan wrote.

Agency officials have pushed back at the accusations, arguing that they had sought to accommodate the IG’s requests. “I have neither delayed nor refused to fully cooperate with EPA’s Inspector General,” Jackson wrote in a Nov. 5 letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler that was released by the agency. The dispute, which involves two different probes, has escalated to a level not seen in at least six years. One former senior EPA official said that while the office has threatened to notify Congress about disputes multiple times in the past, “generally, cooler heads prevailed before that point.”

The EPA’s Office of Inspector General has launched several probes of top Trump appointees at the agency over the past 2½ years, most of which focused on former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s spending and management decisions. But it closed two of its biggest inquiries without reaching any conclusions a year ago, noting that it had failed to interview Pruitt before he resigned in July 2018.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/11/07/top-epa-official-watchdog-engaged-standoff-that-inspector-general-calls-flagrant-problem/

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Reply Top EPA official, watchdog engaged in a standoff that inspector general calls a 'flagrant problem' (Original post)
BumRushDaShow Nov 7 OP
Maxheader Nov 7 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 7 #2
BumRushDaShow Nov 7 #3
Marcuse Nov 8 #4
BumRushDaShow Nov 8 #5
riversedge Nov 8 #6

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 04:07 PM

1. Scott Pruitt's spending and management decisions


Sure..and I applaud that type of investigation..However..how about focusing on,
oh I dunno...maybe environmental pollution by big corps like the koch bros..and
maybe on shutting down the rest of the major co2 contributors...coal burning
power houses....or how about riding the world of plastic baggies...

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 04:44 PM

2. Continuing:

Wheeler warned lawmakers in a Nov. 5 letter that one of the IG’s requests, that Jackson identify who provided him with an advance copy of the written testimony of environmental chemist Deborah Swackhamer, “implicates constitutional concerns.”

Swackhamer, who chaired the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors until Pruitt removed her and several other advisers in late 2017, criticized the Trump administration’s approach to science in testimony before Congress in May 2017. Shortly before she appeared, Jackson chastised her for not alerting the EPA’s congressional affairs staff that she planned to speak to lawmakers and questioned the accuracy of some of her remarks.

On June 26, 2017, top Democrats on the House Committee Science, Space and Technology demanded that the IG investigate the issue.

Jackson refused to tell IG investigators how he obtained Swackhamer’s testimony in advance, telling them, “I am not going to involve others or point fingers. … Welcome to Washington."

In a Nov. 5 opinion delivered to Wheeler, EPA General Counsel Matthew Z. Leopold questioned why the office would investigate a matter connected to a congressional hearing. “How Congress takes testimony or from whom it receives final testimony is not a proper area of inquiry for the OIG,” he said.
....

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's senior national affairs correspondent, covering the transformation of federal environmental policy. She's authored two books, "Demon Fish: Travels Through The Hidden World of Sharks" and "Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives." and has worked for The Post since 1998. Follow https://twitter.com/eilperin

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 05:04 PM

3. This story was just bizarre



But the money quote that underscored the arrogance of appointees, was this part that you posted - “I am not going to involve others or point fingers. … Welcome to Washington."

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 8, 2019, 09:57 AM

4. So much for telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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Response to Marcuse (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 8, 2019, 10:11 AM

5. They always have those fingers crossed behind their backs during oaths.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2019, 12:37 PM

6. go get um!

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