Report: EPA Paid Employees $1 Million While They Were On Leave… Sometimes For YearsPosted: November 20, 2014
Michael Bastasch reports: Want to earn money while on vacation? Go work for the Environmental Protection Agency, which paid eight employees more than $1 million while they were on administrative leave, in some cases for years, according to a government watchdog report.
“EPA claimed that John Beale’s fraud was an anomaly, but EPA has allowed a number of employees to waste millions of taxpayer dollars in the last few years through lax internal controls and substandard management.”
The EPA’s inspector general found that “eight employees totaled 20,926 hours and cost the government an estimated $1,096,868” while on paid leave. Each employee “was on extended administrative leave for four or more months,” the IG reported, adding that “four of the eight employees” were on leave for more than a year.
Not only that, the employees who took huge amounts of leave time also got automatic raises — despite their being paid to do no work.
“The EPA’s major time and attendance issues and management failures are no longer surprising, just pathetic. Reforming their policy will be top of our agenda with the new conservative majority.”
— Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter
The EPA IG’s report comes after an October 2014 Government Accountability Office report that estimated the “salary cost for EPA employees on administrative leave for fiscal years (FYs) 2011 through 2013 was $17,550,100.” GAO found that 69 EPA employees used a month or more of administrative leave — 50 of these employees were on leave for more than three months and two were on leave for over a year. These 69 agency employees took 4,711 days of leave from 2011 to 2013.
This past year has seen numerous accountability failures at the EPA. Late last year, longtime EPA employee John Beale was convicted of stealing about $900,000 from taxpayers while pretending to be a CIA agent and conducting other fraudulent activities.
Beale’s misdeeds were only discovered after he had retired from the agency in 2013 when officials saw he was still being paid despite no longer working for them. Beale was eventually sentenced to 32 months in jail and forced to pay $1.3 million in penalties….(read more)
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- EPA scandal shows how vulnerable the agency is to fraud, investigator says (dailycaller.com)
- EPA Employees Not Fired For Watching Pornography, Stealing Money (dailycaller.com)
- Report: EPA fraudster wrote the ‘EPA’s Playbook’ on regulations (dailycaller.com)
- Inspectors general: The EPA is being actively uncooperative with and dismissive of our investigations (hotair.com)
- Senate GOPs: Report ‘Will Cast a Shadow’ Over EPA’s Inspector General (pjmedia.com)