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Arrest at EPA Sparks Call for Probe

Friday, August 30, 2013

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A former top-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official has been charged with skimming nearly $900,000 from the agency over more than a decade—and a U.S. senator wants to know just how that happened.

According to a criminal filing Aug. 23 from the Department of Justice, former deputy assistant administrator John C. Beale siphoned off $886,186 from the agency between 2000 and 2013 by collecting salary, benefits, and retention bonuses that he had not actually earned.

During those years time, Beale, now 64, served in the Office of Air and Radiation as the top deputy to Gina McCarthy, who headed that division. Last month, McCarthy was named EPA Administrator.

Sen. David Vitter Gina McCarthy
Official photos

Sen. David Vitter is calling for an immediate investigation into the EPA's policies and processes. The defendant was a top aide to new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The Office of Air and Radiation is responsible for administering the Clean Air Act, the Atomic Energy Act and other environmental laws that affect the chemical, manufacturing and energy industries.

If convicted of theft of government property, Beale faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

'Corruption to the Umpteenth Degree'

Beale's arrest was not enough to suit Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), however. The ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee has called for a broader investigation into the case.

"There appears to be corruption to the umpteenth degree," Vitter said in a statement.

John C. Beale EPA

A former deputy assistant administrator with the EPA allegedly stole over $886,000 from the agency over 13 years, federal officials say.

"I think it's appalling that Administrator McCarthy and former acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe could claim that sequester is depriving the agency of important resources, when in fact their own employees are stealing from the government."

"It's clear that further investigations are necessary, and at the appropriate time we'll need answers—a whole lot of answers."

Investigation Urged

On Tuesday (Aug. 27), Vitter released another statement, along with a letter to Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., the Inspector General of the EPA, requesting that the EPA Office of General Inspector immediately launch an investigation into "the Agency's policies and processes that facilitated Mr. Beale's fraud."

In his statement, Vitter said, "We need to know immediately if this corruption is isolated, or if not; who facilitated the tax dollar scam and the true depth of this accounting fiasco, as well as everything the employee may have been involved in during his tenure at the EPA."

Elkins' office issued no immediate response.


Tagged categories: Clean Air Act; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Laws and litigation

Comment from John Fauth, (8/30/2013, 8:52 AM)

The only thing surprising to me, is that others are surprised over and over again with each new revelation of embezzlement and cheating within government agencies and programs. If I hear another politician promise to remove "waste, fraud and abuse" within government again, I do believe I'll vomit. Shouldn't be long.

Comment from Norman Petticrew, (8/30/2013, 9:28 AM)

Thank you Senator Vitter for your continued effort to clean up corrupt government. You are truly an asset to the great state of Louisiana and to the United States. It's people like you that inspire us and help us to realize that there still is loyal and worthy representation within our governmental system. You make us proud!

Comment from Raymond Merrill, (8/30/2013, 10:38 PM)

I am shocked! SHOCKED - that there is corruption within the ranks of our sainted federal government!

Comment from Billy Russell, (9/3/2013, 4:16 AM)

"Retention Bonus" when did we get to vote that we agree to give all these people making 5 figure incomes a Retention Bonus, The world will not stop if they leave every project will still get done, Stop wasting My Tax Dollars on Pencil Pushers and fix our Infrastructure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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