EPA Porn-Watcher Still On Payroll, Four Months After He Was Banned From The Building

Employee still on payroll four months after being banned from the EPA building

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It has been months since a high-paid Environmental Protection Agency employee was banned from the building. In some weird real-life "Office Space" parallel, he is inexplicably still getting paid–and no one has fixed the glitch.

Whether the employee watched porn on his government-issued computer is not in question. Allan Williams, deputy assistant inspector general for investigation, told the House Oversight Committee in May that his office had discovered an EPA official that habitually watched porn on the computer.

The Free Beacon reported that the official "spent up to six hours a day on the taxpayer dime looking at pornography," viewing more than 7,000 pornographic files while on the job. Not only that, but the employee was rewarded with "performance rewards" for his hard work.

"So this guy is making $120,000, spending two to six hours a day looking at porno. Then this information I have is he received performance awards during the time period?" Rep. John Mica (R., Fla.) asked Williams at the time.

Williams responded, "Uh, he possibly did. Yes, sir."

More than four months later, the offending staffer is still on the EPA payroll.

"If this is not a case for the EPA to take someone off the payroll, which the agency's Inspector General uncovered months ago, then what is?" Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said Tuesday in a statement.

"It is simply unacceptable that this individual would continue to receive compensation courtesy of the American taxpayer. The EPA clearly needs to get its house in order, and it is astonishing that such egregious abuses remain unresolved."

Mica promised congressional action.

"Paying to keep a confirmed porn watcher at government expense demonstrates the need for dramatic reform and the need to suspend federal employee compensation after they have been caught in the act," Mica said today in a statement. "It may be too late in this Congress to further pursue this reform but I will make every effort to see how we can address this matter."

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said during a hearing in June that she was frustrated that firing problem employees is such a slow process.

"I actually have to work through the administrative process, as you know, and there is still an ongoing OIG criminal investigation, is my understanding," McCarthy said. "We have actually banned him from the building. He no longer has access to any EPA equipment" and was already on administrative leave at the time, she said. 

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