Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), House Oversight Committee chairman, condemned the “culture and lack of accountability” at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as he revealed examples of employee misconduct during a hearing Wednesday.
Chaffetz said the EPA Inspector General’s office released a report detailing more than 60 cases of misconduct that were closed in the “last several months” alone. The Republican said the misconduct is representative of a “systemic culture problem” at the EPA.
In one instance, a “convicted child molester” was kept on the EPA payroll for years — even after officials learned of his crime, Chaffetz said.
Chaffetz questioned Patrick Sullivan, of the EPA OIG, and learned details about the employee that left him visibly stunned, including the revelation that he was paid a $55,000 settlement to "walk away" from the EPA.
"The American people paid him $55,000 to walk away," Chaffetz asked incredulously.
"Yes," Sullivan replied.
Another EPA employee allegedly stole and pawned “thousands of dollars in office equipment” but was not fired. The employee was ultimately convicted of felony theft, but remains employed at the EPA, according to Chaffetz.
.@jasoninthehouse: In one case, a convicted child molester was on EPA’s payroll for years, even after EPA learned of his offense.— Oversight Committee Republicans (@Oversight Committee Republicans) 1463577404.0
.@jasoninthehouse: In another, an EPA employee was found to have stolen & pawned thousands of dollars of office equipment yet was not fired.— Oversight Committee Republicans (@Oversight Committee Republicans) 1463577465.0
.@jasoninthehouse: After a felony theft conviction, she is still employed at the EPA to this day.— Oversight Committee Republicans (@Oversight Committee Republicans) 1463577518.0
.@jasoninthehouse: One has to wonder if the EPA’s culture & lack of accountability contributes to #GoldKingMine spill or #FlintWaterCrisis.— Oversight Committee Republicans (@Oversight Committee Republicans) 1463577613.0
“The status quo cannot continue,” Chaffetz said before promising to fully investigate the EPA until all managers and employees are held acceptable for failures and wrongdoing.
Watch Chaffetz's opening statement below: