EPA Inspector General Claims Illegal “Rogue” Unit Blocks Investigations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been accused by one of its investigators of operating a “rogue law enforcement agency” that has stymied independent probes of EPA personnel and activities.
Patrick Sullivan, the assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, has informed Congress of his concerns with the EPA’s Office of Homeland Security, which reports to the agency’s top official, Gina McCarthy. Sullivan charges that the 10-member homeland security office has impeded the EPA’s Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats.
“Under the heavy cloak of ‘national security,’ the Office of Homeland Security has repeatedly rebuffed and refused to cooperate with the OIG’s ongoing requests for information or cooperation,” Sullivan wrote in prepared testimony obtained by the Associated Press. “This block unquestionably has hamstrung the Office of Inspector General’s ability to carry out its statutory mandate to investigate wrongdoing of EPA employees.”
Representative Darrell Issa (R-California), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a frequent critic of the Obama administration, called the allegations “disturbing.”
EPA’s Office of Homeland Security was created under the George W. Bush administration through an administrative order. Sullivan contends that the office lacks legal authority to conduct investigations or enforce the law.
Congress was also expected to take testimony from another inspector general investigator, Elisabeth Heller Drake, who claims McCarthy interfered with the OIG’s probe of a homeland security office employee who allegedly assaulted Drake last year. The EPA says McCarthy asked only that the investigation be put on hold until the dispute between the offices was settled.
To Learn More:
EPA Accused of Blocking Independent Investigations (Associated Press)
EPA Exec’s Purported Double Life as a CIA Spy was Cover for Million-Dollar Fraud Scheme (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
EPA Stopped Keeping Records to Avoid Disclosure in Landfill Case (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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