The US Environmental Protection Agency’s highest paid employee will be sentenced on Wednesday for defrauding the US government.
John Beale, a leading climate change expert and EPA executive, pled guilty in September in federal court in connection with collecting about $1 million in salary, bonuses, and travel expenses while he was reportedly goofing off on the taxpayer’s tab.
Beale apparently convinced gullible EPA officials that he was working on secret missions for the CIA during from 2000 to 2013, which enabled him to avoid showing up at the office for months at a time. Beale retired from government service in April when he learned he was under investigation by the feds and is now apparently collecting his civil service pension.
He appeared before a House committee in October (see embed below), but invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against testifying
What did Beale actually do during all this time. According to NBC News, “He spent much of the time he was purportedly working for the CIA at his Northern Virginia home riding bikes, doing housework and reading books, or at a vacation house on Cape Cod.”
He reportedly also lied about being a Vietnam veteran to obtain a special parking space because he had allegedly contracted malaria during the war
Federal prosecutors have asked the presiding judge to sentence Beale to a minimum of 30 months in prison for ripping-off the government, i.e the taxpayer.
Beale’s bosses at the EPA may have known about Beale’s chicanery since the summer of 2010, but didn’t take any action, according to the Washington Post. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wants to get to the bottom of this scandal: “I don’t care how manipulative the individual was, somebody at the agency had to approve and sign off on leave, travel, salary and bonuses. This clearly shows some severe mismanagement problems at the EPA, and my guess is that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
As part of his plea agreement, Beale, 64, will be required to pay back the unearned salary.
[thumbnail image credit: Billy Hathorn]