This is part of a pattern and the pattern is lawless authoritarianism. Obama and his subordinates show open contempt for the law while exploiting it to abuse power.
A unit run by President Barack Obama’s political staff inside the Environmental Protection Agency operates illegally as a “rogue law enforcement agency” that has blocked independent investigations by the EPA’s inspector general for years, a top investigator told Congress.
The assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, was expected to testify Wednesday before a House oversight committee about the activities of the EPA’s little-known Office of Homeland Security.
The office of about 10 employees is overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s office, and the inspector general’s office is accusing it of impeding its independent investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats, including compelling employees involved in cases to sign non-disclosure agreements.
“Under the heavy cloak of `national security,’ the Office of Homeland Security has repeatedly rebuffed and refused to cooperate with the OIG’s ongoing requests for information or cooperation,” Sullivan wrote in prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press. “This block unquestionably has hamstrung the Office of Inspector General’s ability to carry out its statutory mandate to investigate wrongdoing of EPA employees.”
Another inspector general investigator, Elisabeth Heller Drake, will testify that McCarthy asked the inspector general’s office to halt a probe into a homeland security office employee after he allegedly assaulted her in October, according to her prepared testimony. The EPA says that claim is a mischaracterization and that McCarthy only asked that the investigation be paused until the internal dispute between the two offices was settled safely and efficiently.
I don’t see that the EPA even needs an Office of Homeland Security especially since its main job seems to be obstructing investigations.
The EPA’s Office of Homeland Security story gets even stranger the deeper you go into it.
When EPA officials began having doubts in 2012 about John Beale — a top adviser who bizarrely claimed he was missing work because he was on secret CIA spy missions — they didn’t go to the agency’s inspector general for an investigation.
Instead, they went to the Environmental Protection Agency’s little-known office of homeland security to check out Beale’s story.
Beale’s ruse eventually unraveled, but questions have emerged in the wake of his time and attendance fraud case about the role of the EPA’s homeland security operation.
Christie Todd Whitman, who as EPA administrator in 2003 created the homeland security office, said she never intended for it to be exempt from oversight by the agency’s inspector general. One of her top appointees said the office was supposed to be a “policy shop,” not a police agency.
Last fall, one of the inspector general’s special agents, Elisabeth Heller Drake, stopped by on what she thought would be a routine visit to advise an employee not to discuss an ongoing investigation involving the office, according to prepared testimony she submitted to Congress.
Instead, she wrote, EPA homeland security officials refused to cooperate and Mr. Williams berated her so much that she filed an assault complaint. An affidavit was prepared for Mr. Williams’ arrest on a misdemeanor charge, but the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington declined to file charges.
Days after the incident, Ms. McCarthy requested that the inspector general’s office temporarily halt its investigation into the homeland security office.
McCarthy now heads the EPA. And there seem to be too many guns being waved around at an environmental agency.
My name is Elisabeth Heller Drake and I am a Special Agent in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG).
The fact I had a sidearm holstered out of sight under my suit jacket did not make any difference; I was not chasing a criminal on the street, but rather in an environment where I never would have expected such behavior from a professional staff member. Avoiding unnecessary physical contact, I stepped back from Mr. Williams.
In spite of my clear notice that I was a federal law enforcement officer, he again started yelling at me. I thought back to my research and recalled that he was not only a GS-15, but also a Naval Reserves Captain, making his tirade and interference with my official duties all the more surprising.
Why is it necessary for a member of the inspector’s office to carry a sidearm while interviewing EPA employees?
The EPA’s bureaucracy and enforcement mechanisms are out of control. It might be more accurate to say that the EPA is a rogue agency.