A few weeks ago we read the amusing, and yet highly disturbing story about how a high USEPA official pretended to be an undercover CIA spy so that the EPA would overlook his illegal travel benefits and salary bonuses. Today, the Washington Post reported that the agency was warned of his fraud in 2010, and continued to play along until this year:
. . .In July 2010, the EPA’s human resources office contacted Beale’s Office of Air and Radiation with a document it had prepared titled “John Beale Pay Issues,” according to the report. The head of Beale’s department was Gina McCarthy, who is now the head of the EPA. The report does not make clear whether the document was given to her.I've often thought that an upper level bureaucrat, or mid level scientist working for some unrelated agency would make a good cover for a CIA spy. Very few would notice if they went on a lot of trips to odd places, and not many would notice or care if "throughput" was light. Apparently, John Beale had the same brilliant idea, and ran with it.
A code on Beale’s timecard, approved by the Office of Personnel Management, initially allowed his salary to exceed legal limits.
On Jan. 12, 2011, the EPA’s Office of General Counsel warned McCarthy’s staff to “stop retention bonus pay,” and McCarthy was asked to inform Beale, according to the report. But on April 2, 2012, McCarthy “confirmed no actions taken on retention bonus due to advice” from the head of the human resources department, according to the report.
Beale’s bonus was not canceled until Feb. 5, 2013. He was forced to retire in April, when his base salary was $164,000. He will collect his pension.
Beale, who pleaded guilty in September to stealing nearly $900,000 in government pay and bonuses, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Dec. 18. In court papers filed this week, his attorney, John W. Kern, asked for jail time at the “low end” of the 30 to 37 months that Beale faces under federal sentencing guidelines. Beale has agreed to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution and forfeiture as part of the plea deal. . .