Daily Caller News Foundation

Porn, Weed, DUIs All In A Day’s Anonymous ‘Work’ At EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees watched porn on the job, stole government equipment — selling it for quick cash — and drove under the influence while on the clock, but Americans who fund their salaries will likely never know their names.

The EPA Office of Inspector General (IG) investigated dozens of EPA employees between April 2014 and September 2015, but didn’t include the names of even the most serious offenders in three reports summarizing employee integrity cases released this week. The EPA allowed most of the employees involved to retire with full pensions, or suspended them for a few days or weeks.

Jeffrey Lagda, congressional and media liaison for the EPA IG, claimed the Privacy Act prevents publicizing the names of offending employees.

“The OIG is not protecting the names of convicted criminals. As a general rule, we do not identify employees by name in our reports,” Lagda told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “However, we will provide the names to the media via a FOIA request that is subject to the Privacy Act and FOIA, of course.”

Despite Lagda’s claim, some Privacy Act experts say IGs have full authority to release names if they wish to do so.

Here are the top 11 EPA employees the IG cited for assorted offenses and whose names will probably never be made public:

1. Employee drunk on the clock

Police arrested an EPA employee for driving under the influence while telecommuting, according to the IG. On a different occasion, the individual was also arrested while driving to work while intoxicated, and even had a third DUI arrest on record. The IG found the employee bought and drank alcohol during regular work hours “for several years.” The EPA allowed the employee to retire before termination.

2. The porn-devouring GS-15-level employee who only got a five-day suspension

A GS-15 employee — the highest job classification before the civil service’s Senior Executive Service (SES) — admitted to watching pornography “regularly at work for the past several years.” The employee was suspended without pay for five days and lost teleworking privileges, too.

3. Break the law, be punished with “interpersonal skills training”

An EPA contracting official who violated the Procurement Integrity Act by exchanging sensitive information in emails with a contractor received a warning, counseling and “interpersonal skills training.” The employee still works for the EPA, but not as a contracting representative.

4. This convicted thief stole from EPA

An EPA employee stole cameras and other EPA property over a two-year period, sold them at a pawnshop and was convicted of felony theft. The worker was suspended for 30 days by EPA, sentenced in court to three years of probation and had to repay the government $3,118, plus a $1,000 fine.

5. This top EPA official racked up $18,000 in international roaming charges

A Senior Executive Service official allegedly racked up $18,000 in international roaming charges on an EPA mobile device, and claimed regular work hours while on vacation or traveling abroad. The SESer resigned and received no subsequent penalties.

6. This EPA IG agent used a badge to get free personal parking

An EPA IG special agent used an official badge and other law enforcement credentials to get free parking for a personal car for almost four years. The employee was suspended without pay for nine days and required to pay $3,500 for the parking.

7 . Counseling for blatant conflict of interest

An SESer intervened on a Canadian environmental review process for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project while owning over $30,000 worth of stock in the company. The “EPA had provided the senior executive with a letter of caution in September 2013” about the potential conflict of interest. The punishment? Verbal counseling.

8. ‘Inappropriate’ office romance 

An SES-level supervisor admitted to an “inappropriate romantic relationship” with his unnamed GS-15-level subordinate. The SESer also encouraged other EPA employees to promote his paramour. The senior official retired without further punishment.

9. Top EPA official covered for a criminal

An SESer approved fraudulent time-and-attendance travel vouchers and bonuses for the infamous former EPA official John Beale, then lied about it to investigators probing Beale. Beale missed two-and-a-half years of work at the EPA while falsely claiming he was a CIA operative. The SESer was allowed to retire without further disciplinary action.

 10. 11 misconduct violations and back on the job

An EPA project manager committed 11 misconduct violations, including stealing more than $5,000 in grant funds from a U.S.-Mexico border program. The project manager got a two-grade demotion and remained on the government payroll.

11. Weed-toting EPA employee got off easy

An EPA employee was convicted of possessing marijuana on federal property and for taking three grams of marijuana and two marijuana pipes through the security checkpoint at an IRS facility in Denver. The EPA suspended the employee for 21 days without pay.

Follow Kathryn on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].