With workers who reportedly drink, watch porn, and smoke marijuana at work, the Environmental Protection Agency has been perforated with employee misconduct.
For EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is now looking forward to layoff at least 25 percent of the 15,000 employees at the government agency, inspector general reports from the past few years detailing the employee misconduct could serve as ammunition.
According to the US government’s own calculations, when it was on the verge of a shutdown back in 2013, only 6.5 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s employees are “essential.”
The most infamous case regarding misconduct at the EPA was of an official who earned up to $120,000 excluding performance bonuses after being caught watching porn at work, for almost six hours a day.
EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation reportedly had a geologist who admitted to downloading over 7,000 porn files on an agency server. He even admitted to masturbating at work. However, in return, he received paid leave for nearly two years after being caught red-handed.
The inspector general reported to Congress last year that this was not the only such incident at the agency. Another employee was suspended days after confessing that he had “watched pornography regularly at work for the past several years.” The inspector elaborated that this employee’s punishment was that he could no longer telework or “attach any unauthorized external drive devices to a government computer.”
EPA has also been found to employ convicted child molesters. This includes an employee who was paid $55,000 by the EPA, to retire, because his employers could not fire him.
Several other EPA employees have been caught drinking and growing marijuana at work. In 2015, an employee was arrested for attempting to bring “three grams of marijuana and two marijuana pipes through the security checkpoint at an Internal Revenue Service facility in Denver, Colorado.” The inspector general further said that the employee only received a conviction of 20 hours of community service, a $2,500 fine and a 21-day suspension.
After discovering that another EPA employee had a “marijuana growing operation in her residence,” she was only placed on a seven-month administrative leave before retiring in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s mission is to curtail EPA’s workforce by 25 percent and cut its budget down to $5.7 billion.