EPA Officials Operate in the Shadows

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epa1According to a Senate report, EPA officials have from the beginning of President Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office “pursued a path of obfuscation, operating in the shadows, and out of the sunlight,” documented by the Washington Examiner (below). “The agency established an alias identity to hide the actions of the former administrator; has purposefully been unresponsive to FOIA request, oftentimes redacting information the public has a right to know; and mismanaged its electronic records system such that federal records have been jeopardized.”
The “alias identity” referred to by the report was the official government email account for “Richard Windsor” that was used by former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Federal officials are barred from using fictitious names on official email accounts and are required to inform agency FOIA officials whenever they cannot avoid using a personal email account to conduct official business. Jackson has since resigned and “lawyered up” according to the Examiner’s account:

Among other alleged abuses and violations included in the lengthy Senate report are these:

• “The impediments to EPA transparency extend beyond EPA’s framework for managing information and identifying responsive documents. EPA’s shortcomings also involve the manner in which EPA responds to FOIA requests, including the prolific, and often inappropriate, use of exemptions to withhold information from the public…

• “The manner in which EPA has trained its staff on the implementation of transparency laws is insufficient. Regional employees have not taken the proper training and lack a comprehensive understanding of how to process a FOIA request.

• “In one instance, it appears that EPA deliberately altered the date on a FOIA response to avoid the legal consequences of missing a deadline and then excluded this document from a FOIA production to avoid scrutiny and embarrassment.

• “EPA has also exploited FOIA to protect its own interests while disregarding the public interest by acting with bias in processing fee waiver requests and facilitating requests for environmentalist allies.”

Jackson’s use of the Richard Windsor account became public last year as a result of publication of a book by Christopher C. Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Horner’s book details misuse of government email and the FOIA by EPA officials beginning in the Clinton administration under then-Administator Carol Browner. Browner also served as Obama’s “environmental czar” from January 2009 to March 2011 when her position was abolished.

This is just more of “the most transparent administration ever” I guess. When are these people going to be arrested and thrown in prison? They aren’t breaking “rules” – they’re breaking the law. Read the full story HERE:

Go here to read the full Senate report.

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