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Hearing Hearing Date: July 29, 2015 9:00 am Rayburn 2154

EPA Mismanagement Part II

EPA Mismanagement Part II
July 29, 2015
9:00 am
Rayburn 2154
Full Committee on Oversight and Accountability


  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to be plagued by persistent employee misconduct.
    • John Beale, former head of the EPA office of Homeland Security, masqueraded as a covert CIA officer and is now in prison for time and attendance fraud while employed at the EPA.
    • Peter Jutro retired in disgrace after he was found to have sexually assaulted over a dozen women.
    • Dr. Paul Bertram sexually harassed a young research fellow and was permitted to retire in 2011.
  • EPA Administrator McCarthy did not treat sexual harassment allegations by an agency intern as criminal activity.
  • According to current EPA employee, Ronald Harris, there is a culture of arrogance at the agency that makes leadership “untouchable.”
  • Senior EPA leadership systematically pursued retaliatory actions against employees involved in investigating sexual harassment cases. These investigators allege that Susan Hedman, the Region 5 Administrator, was personally involved in retaliation against them.


  • To hear testimony from current EPA employees about alleged cases of reprisal against employees who manage sexual misconduct allegations.
  • To receive an update from EPA Administrator McCarthy on what actions have been taken to address specific and general sexual misconduct issues examined in the previous April meeting.


  • In April, the Committee held a hearing examining sexual harassment incidents and the manner in which the Office of the Administrator of the EPA handled them.
  • Since then, the Committee has become aware of additional sexual harassment incidents in EPA Region 5.
  • EPA officials who investigated the allegations maintain that, as a result, they suffered reprisals and retaliation for their probes into the incidents.
  • Earlier this year, the EPA IG investigated instances of employees who were found viewing, in some cases, up to six hours per day of porn at work.


Chairman Chaffetz on sexual harassment at EPA: “A predator was fed a steady diet of interns.”

Rep. Grothman: “(Are) personality flaws perhaps one of the reasons why we have such onerous regulations coming out of the EPA?”
Mr. Harris: “You have a culture of arrogance, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could ever see.”

Rep. Hice: “What are the options that a person has if they want to identify harassment or they’ve seen something that they want to report, what are the legitimate options given there is a culture of retaliation?”

Witnesses and testimonies: Ronald Harris

Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Carolyn Bohlen

Chief, Enforcement Services Section #2
Superfund Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ross Tuttle

Senior Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Karen Kellen

American Federation of Government Employees Council 238

Gina McCarthy

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Transcript Document