Richard Windsor, Model Employee

Fake EPA employee received awards from the EPA

Lisa Jackson / AP
June 3, 2013

"Richard Windsor" may have only been an alias for former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, but that didn’t stop him from being awarded numerous certificates for ethics and records management.

The EPA awarded certificates naming Jackson/Windsor a "scholar of ethical behavior." Jackson, under her secret alias, was also awarded certificates for completing training modules on email records management.

Jackson set up a secret email address under the pseudonym "Richard Windsor." The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner first discovered it in November.

Republicans and government watchdog groups say Jackson may have skirted federal record laws by using the alias, but the EPA claims the secret email address was a common practice—and a necessary one, given the millions of emails that flooded Jackson’s public inbox every year.

Horner, a senior fellow at the conservative think tank, obtained the certificates via a Freedom of Information Act request.

"I like my fake employees to be of the highest ethical standards and fully up to date on the law and ethics of federal recordkeeping," Horner told the Washington Free Beacon. "At least someone there is."

EPA official Eric W. Wachter, director of the office of the secretariat, said Jackson was only certified under her alias because that was the account she happened to be signed in as when she took the online tests in a FOIA response letter to Horner.

"As you will recall from many of your previous requests, Administrator Jackson’s secondary email account was, and she completed the EPA-hosted, computer-based training while using that particular account," Wachter wrote.