Obama’s EPA chief Gina McCarthy, who barely won Senate confirmation following questions about her integrity, is being called corrupt and incompetent as details of EPA’s toxic environment emerge
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has admitted that it paid a convicted child molester $55,000 to retire because the department couldn’t fire him, the Washington Examiner reported.
EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiberg testified during a House Oversight Committee hearing that the agency attempted to release the employee but the Merit Systems Protection Board in charge of settling personnel overturned the decision.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R, Utah), chairman of the committee, called it “one of the most egregious cases of employee misconduct and misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
“It’s just pretty stunning…we’re not protecting the American taxpayer and we’re not protecting the employees who have to sit next to this freak of a pervert,” he said.
“The American people paid him $55,000 to walk away?” Chaffetz asked EPA Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Patrick Sullivan during at a hearing.
“Yes,” Sullivan said.
“It’s just pretty stunning…we’re not protecting the American taxpayer and we’re not protecting the employees who have to sit next to this freak of a pervert,” Chaffetz said.
Former EPA chief Gina McCarthy was accused of permitting a workplace hostile to women. The EPA Inspector General told Congress about instances of employees watching and downloading porn, including child pornogrpahy, on federal computers.
Gina McCarthy was also at the helm of the EPA when the Flint, Michigan water crisis began. EPA was first notified of the problem in April 2015, however she did not declare a state of emergency until January 2016.
She spent nearly $750,000 on international travel in three years.
Chaffetz, whose committee, since 2015, has probed several incidents of sexual harassment and other misconduct at EPA , said the agency was wrong to keep the sex offender in its employ for so long.
“This is not acceptable,” Chaffetz said. “Somebody comes with the authority of the EPA badge and then they’ve got sirens or lights on their car and they’re a registered sex offender. I mean, can you see the disconnect?”
The agency currently has 90 employee misconduct cases pending, the assistant inspector general for the EPA testified.
“The EPA is one of the most toxic places in the federal government to work. If you don’t get rid of the toxicity of the employees at the EPA, we are doing a great disservice to this country. I have serious questions about [the EPA administrator’s] ability to actually administrate.” ~ House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who held several congressional hearings in 2016 to investigate egregious cases of misconduct and mismanagement under the leadership of Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s last EPA chief.
Other cases detailed during the hearing included an EPA contractor who conceded to watching porn during work for up to two hours a day for 18 years before he was fired, according to the Washington Examiner. Another employee meanwhile was convicted of stealing office equipment worth thousands of dollars, yet still holds a job with the agency.
“Nobody gets fired. Most people who get out retire,” Rep. John Mica (R, Fla.) said during the hearing. “Civil service was not set up to protect these folks, it was set up to protect folks from political motivation.”
According to another published report:
[Gina] McCarthy was a masterful blame-shifter who skillfully conned a gullible media into buying her excuses, an approach that started before Obama promoted her to EPA chief. (After a top official embezzled nearly $1 million in bogus pay and bonuses while working for an EPA department McCarthy supervised, she blamed a colleague for her failure to act in a timely manner—a delay that permitted the plundering to continue for more two years.)
Democrats came to EPA’s defense, claiming the agency has improved its handling of misbehaving employees after being hammered by the Oversight panel. “I am encouraged that EPA’s response to allegations of employee misconduct has vastly improved,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
Deputy Administrator Meiburg has also found his legal status under scrutiny.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) stated that Meiburg was not allowed under federal law to serve in a position on an acting basis that he also has been nominated for.
Gosar, who has pushed for the impeachment of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, said having Meiburg serve as deputy was another instance of EPA’s “blatant disregard for the law.”
“I think you should step down, as well,” Gosar said. “You cannot serve as the acting official when you are nominated to fill that post permanently. It’s against the law. It’s plain and simple.”
Gosar’s statement rests on a recent appeals court decision and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.