Al Armendariz, the top EPA administrator in the South and Southwest region has left his post after “crucify them” remarks he made in 2010 surfaced online last week.
Republicans immediately jumped on Armendariz’s comments after they were discovered, demanding his immediate resignation. During comments about the EPA’s enforcement policies Armendariz explained that during the Middle Ages, the Romans would enter a village that was causing problems and “the the first five guys they saw and crucify them.” The EPA administrator added the town was then “really easy to manage for the next few years.”
The talk didn’t end there, Al Armendariz then added that the EPA currently makes “examples of people who are not complying with the law, you make examples out of them, use it as a deterrent method.”
Following the release of the comments Republicans quickly placed the blame on President Obama, claiming that under the President’s leadership the Environmental Protection Agency is harming the economy by creating harsh enforcement policies.
In his resignation letter which was posted by the Dallas Morning News Armendariz writes:
I have been honored to serve as your regional administrator for EPA’s region 6 office the last 2 and ½ years. I never once forgot that the reason I was appointed was to serve you, to act as your voice, and to work day and night to better protect the environment and your safety.
Today I am resigning my position as regional administrator. This was not something that was asked of me by Administrator Jackson or the White House. It is a decision I made myself. I had become too much of a distraction, and no one person is more important than the incredible work being done by the rest of the team at EPA.
I leave with an incredible sense of pride for the things the Agency accomplished and it was fantastic to be a part of the effort. Administrator Jackson has overseen a renaissance in the Agency and it is again the global leader in environmental protection. President Obama has been incredibly supportive of me and my work and the Agency. He’ll undoubtedly go down as the most environmental president we have ever had.
Thank you all for letting me into your homes and communities, and showing me the challenges you face every day from pollution and lack of infrastructure. Your stories are now part of my fabric and the fabric of the Agency.
Do you think Al Armendariz made the right decision in offering his resignation following the release of the video?