The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing this week at which it was revealed that one senior civil servant at the Environmental Protection Agency spent much of his office time watching pornography over the internet. The career employee admitted to the EPA’s Inspector General’s Office (OIG) that he spent two to six hours a day watching porn videos. This included four straight hours at a site called, Sadism Is Beautiful, according to news reports. The OIG discovered 7,000 pornographic videos downloaded to the employee’s computer.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked the EPA officials testifying whether this conduct was illegal and whether the civil servant had been fired. Yes, it is illegal, but Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe admitted that he had not been fired and confirmed that he was still being paid over $120,000 a year and in addition had received performance awards in cash.
Deputy Assistant Inspector General Allan Williams also testified about other misconduct that has been revealed by the OIG’s wider investigation launched after the John Beale scandal came to light. For example, the director of the EPA’s Office of Administration, Renee Page, ran a retail business out of her office and had hired 17 family members over the years as paid interns. Page received a $35,000 Presidential Rank performance award.
These are some of the juicy bits, but the really explosive testimony came from Deputy Inspector General Patrick Sullivan:
The EPA OIG’s Office of Investigations is being impeded from fulfilling its responsibilities by actions of the EPA’s internal Office of Homeland Security (OHS), a unit within the Office of the Administrator. OHS is overseen by Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, who serves as Chief of Staff to Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Sullivan continued in no uncertain terms: