The story of the fake spy writing air quality rules at EPA despite no expertise

Rick Moran
A former top policy manager at the EPA convicted of embezzling almost $1 million from the government, got his job at the agency 25 years ago solely because of his friendship with a deputy director. Throughout his career, John C. Beale posed as a CIA agent and helped write some of the most important regulations governing clean air, even though he had no scientific background whatsoever.

The plot for the next Adam Sandler movie? Or a report issued by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee?

Washington Times:

A former high-ranking EPA staffer convicted of stealing nearly $900,000 by pretending to be a CIA spy had virtually no experience, got his job with help from a college buddy, and went on to play a key role in sweeping environmental regulations, according to a report Senate Republicans released Wednesday.

Those regulations remain in place despite John C. Beale’s lack of environmental expertise, Republican investigators said, adding that they want the Environmental Protection Agency to review the work in which Beale was involved during his 24-year tenure.

The report said Beale led an “itinerant life” as a police officer and a physical therapist in California before heading to Princeton University in the 1970s. It was at Princeton, the report said, where Beale befriended Robert Brenner, who later would become the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator.

“Rather than recruit someone with the requisite experience, Brenner sought out Beale in what appears to be a decision based solely on their personal friendship rather than any experience or credentials,” said conclusions of the report by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Beale advanced quickly after he joined the agency in 1989 and eventually helped the EPA implement national air quality standards.

The highest-paid employee in the EPA, Beale was a senior policy adviser earning more than $200,000 in salary and bonuses a year by the time he resigned in April 2013.

Beale is now in prison on theft charges after admitting he ditched EPA work, claiming to be a CIA spy. Republicans say the EPA should disclose the underlying science behind the regulatory decisions in which Beale took part.

EPA officials acknowledged Wednesday that agency officials in Democratic and Republican administrations were duped for years by Beale, but they defended the regulations on which he worked.

Beale “was just one of a large number of people from a number of disciplines across the Agency who provided input on those rules,” EPA spokeswoman Elisha Johnson said in an email responding to the report.

Walter Mitty, Mr. Beale is not. The fact that the scientists and techincal experts working on these regulations couldn't tell that Beale was a fraud should raise alarm bells throughout the agency. Just what is the level of their expertise if he could fool them?

And believing he was a CIA agent? Beale apparently used the gambit as a dodge so that he could take months off work at a time:

Beale was sentenced to 2 years in prison in December after admitting that he regularly took months off at a time while being paid — tricking colleagues and superiors for years into thinking that he was working for the CIA. All the while, he earned a paycheck and hefty bonuses.

At his sentencing hearing, Beale told the judge that shame had become his “constant companion.”

So, too, for the EPA.

 

 

A former top policy manager at the EPA convicted of embezzling almost $1 million from the government, got his job at the agency 25 years ago solely because of his friendship with a deputy director. Throughout his career, John C. Beale posed as a CIA agent and helped write some of the most important regulations governing clean air, even though he had no scientific background whatsoever.

The plot for the next Adam Sandler movie? Or a report issued by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee?

Washington Times:

A former high-ranking EPA staffer convicted of stealing nearly $900,000 by pretending to be a CIA spy had virtually no experience, got his job with help from a college buddy, and went on to play a key role in sweeping environmental regulations, according to a report Senate Republicans released Wednesday.

Those regulations remain in place despite John C. Beale’s lack of environmental expertise, Republican investigators said, adding that they want the Environmental Protection Agency to review the work in which Beale was involved during his 24-year tenure.

The report said Beale led an “itinerant life” as a police officer and a physical therapist in California before heading to Princeton University in the 1970s. It was at Princeton, the report said, where Beale befriended Robert Brenner, who later would become the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator.

“Rather than recruit someone with the requisite experience, Brenner sought out Beale in what appears to be a decision based solely on their personal friendship rather than any experience or credentials,” said conclusions of the report by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Beale advanced quickly after he joined the agency in 1989 and eventually helped the EPA implement national air quality standards.

The highest-paid employee in the EPA, Beale was a senior policy adviser earning more than $200,000 in salary and bonuses a year by the time he resigned in April 2013.

Beale is now in prison on theft charges after admitting he ditched EPA work, claiming to be a CIA spy. Republicans say the EPA should disclose the underlying science behind the regulatory decisions in which Beale took part.

EPA officials acknowledged Wednesday that agency officials in Democratic and Republican administrations were duped for years by Beale, but they defended the regulations on which he worked.

Beale “was just one of a large number of people from a number of disciplines across the Agency who provided input on those rules,” EPA spokeswoman Elisha Johnson said in an email responding to the report.

Walter Mitty, Mr. Beale is not. The fact that the scientists and techincal experts working on these regulations couldn't tell that Beale was a fraud should raise alarm bells throughout the agency. Just what is the level of their expertise if he could fool them?

And believing he was a CIA agent? Beale apparently used the gambit as a dodge so that he could take months off work at a time:

Beale was sentenced to 2 years in prison in December after admitting that he regularly took months off at a time while being paid — tricking colleagues and superiors for years into thinking that he was working for the CIA. All the while, he earned a paycheck and hefty bonuses.

At his sentencing hearing, Beale told the judge that shame had become his “constant companion.”

So, too, for the EPA.