Every time we get close to solving one “phony” Obama scandal, another one seems to pop up. News of the latest comes from the Associated Press, which reports that a special unit run by Obama’s political appointees within the Environmental Protection Agency operates as a “rogue law enforcement” group. Among other things, the EPA police have blocked independent investigations by the agency’s inspector general for years.
Assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, is testifying before the House Oversight Committee about what goes on in this unit, better known as the EPA Office of Homeland Security.
The office of about 10 employees is overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s office, and the inspector general’s office is accusing it of impeding its independent investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats, including compelling employees involved in cases to sign non-disclosure agreements.
“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.”
EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe was expected to tell Congress that the agency’s employees work cooperatively with the inspector general and support its mission, according to his prepared testimony.
Perciasepe assured Congress in his prepared testimony that the EPA remains committed to ensuring that the inspector general’s office successfully roots out waste, fraud and abuse across the agency.
What brought word of the EPA HSO blockage of Inspector General investigations to the fore was the story of John C. Beale, a former deputy assistant administrator who pleaded guilty in federal court last fall to stealing a total of $886,186 between 2000 and April 2013, falsely claiming he was working undercover for the CIA.
Apparently the EPA office of Homeland Security held on to the information for months before telling the EPA office of Inspector General.
Another inspector general investigator, Elisabeth Heller Drake, will testify that McCarthy asked the inspector general’s office to halt a probe into a homeland security office employee after he allegedly assaulted her in October, according to her prepared testimony. The EPA says that claim is a mischaracterization and that McCarthy only asked that the investigation be paused until the internal dispute between the two offices was settled safely and efficiently.
Remember, this is supposed to be the most transparent administration in the history of the world universe.
Cross-posted at The Lid