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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

EPA Officials Obstructed Fraud Investigation -- Blocked probe of senior official who cost taxpayers nearly $900,000 -- BY: CJ Ciaramella, The Washington Free Beacon

Several Environmental Protection Agency employees obstructed an investigation into the mismanagement that allowed a senior EPA official to bilk taxpayers for nearly $900,000, the EPA Inspector General said in a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) released Wednesday.

EPA employees threatened Inspector General investigators, refused to cooperate, and handed out non-disclosure agreements to other employees to keep them from being interviewed, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. wrote in response to a request for information by Vitter on the case.

“Over the past 12 months, there have been several EPA officials who have taken action to prevent [the Office of Investigations] OI from conducting investigations or have attempted to obstruct investigations through intimidation,” Elkins wrote.

John Beale pleaded guilty in September 2013 to time card and travel fraud spanning two decades and amounting to nearly $900,000 in taxpayer dollars. Beale also spent a total of two and a half years absent from work, claiming he was away on CIA business. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison in December 2013.

After closing its criminal investigation, the Inspector General began an audit of the lack of internal controls that allowed Beale to defraud the agency. That audit has implicated a growing number of EPA officials.

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