I saw this"Drudgetaposition" this morning, after seeing the articles separately yesterday and today:
Gold miners near Chicken cry foul over 'heavy-handed' EPA raids
When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.But that's not nearly as much fun as dressing up like a SWAT unit and intimidating people.
Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated.
Others wonder if the actions of the agents put everyone at risk. When your family business involves collecting gold far from nowhere, unusual behavior can be taken as a sign someone might be trying to stage a robbery. How is a remote placer miner to know the people in the jackets saying POLICE really are police?
Miners suggest it might have been better all around if officials had just shown up at the door -- as they used to do -- and said they wanted to check the water.
Former senior EPA adviser Beale expected to plead guilty in $900,000 pay fraud
Over the past 12 years, John C. Beale was often away from his job as a high-level staffer at the Environmental Protection Agency. He cultivated an air of mystery and explained his lengthy absences by telling his bosses that he was doing top-secret work, including for the CIA.Clearly, whatever his job was a "senior advisor" was so important noone could tell whether he was doing it. Either that, or it only took a part time person to do it (which is entirely possible).
For years, apparently, no one checked.
Now, Beale is charged with stealing nearly $900,000 from the EPA by receiving pay and bonuses he did not deserve. He faces up to three years in prison.In both cases, the chutzpah of the agency is on display.
Beale, 64, who was a senior policy adviser in the Office of Air and Radiation, is expected to plead guilty at a hearing scheduled for Monday at U.S. District Court in Washington.
“This is a situation where one individual went to great lengths to deceive and defraud the U.S. government,” said EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson.