Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another One Bites the Dust

EPA Official Resigns; Another snared in secret email probe
Only a few weeks after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson developed a sudden need for family time after she became entangled in a Senate probe regarding her use of a "private" email account to conduct EPA business; allegedly collusion with environmental NGOs, and in an effort to defeat FOIA requests, another EPA official has resigned after revelations of a private email account have surfaced:

EPA Region 8 administrator James Martin is resigning this week, according to a press release from Sen. David Vitter (R., La.). Martin faces a congressional probe for allegedly using a private email account to circumvent disclosure requirements.

Bob Perciasepe, the current acting EPA administrator, also used a private account to send emails to other EPA officials, Vitter said his office has discovered.

“Region 8 administrator Martin is likely resigning this week in part because of the open investigation about his use of a non-official email account to conduct official business,” Vitter said. “Now we know that Lisa Jackson’s acting replacement, Bob Perciasepe, appears to have been doing the same thing to dodge the agency’s mandatory record-keeping policy.”

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon Tuesday, the EPA released the second of four tranches of emails on Friday from former administrator Lisa Jackson’s secret “Richard Windsor” email account.

Perciasepe sent an email to Jackson’s “Richard Windsor” account from his personal account.

An EPA spokesperson said Martin was resigning for “personal reasons.”
I can understand high officials in any branch of government having a "private" email account.  The "public" account of such officials must receive enough mail that a team of henchmen must be required to sort out the good from the bad, and to bring anything really of concern to the head of the agency to their attention.

However, the use of private email accounts to defeat FOIA (Freedom of Information Acts) requests crosses the line from practical to criminal.

We haven't yet seen e-mails from the "Richard Windsor" account that suggest that the line was crossed, but the slow rate at which the emails are forthcoming suggests that the line may have been crossed.

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