As of 2017, the estimates are between the 7.5 million for-profit contractors, an estimated 3 million federally funded employees of state and local governments and approximately 2 million actual federal employees, there are more than 14 million people who work for the federal government. A good portion of them probably go to work and try to do their job to the best of their abilities.
But when you’re talking about numbers this big, there can’t be just one bad apple. There are probably thousands that just haven’t been outed yet.
The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Wednesday for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job.
— NBC News, 12/18/13
Funny how there’s brief mention of Beale’s being a “climate change expert” in the NBC News piece. If he did nothing at his job, what does that say about the cause?
Beale, who is serving a 32-month sentence in the federal prison in Cumberland, Md., for pleading guilty to felony theft of government property, spent most of his career devising regulations under the Clean Air Act that are justified by science few have seen and no one has peer-reviewed, according to a report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
— Daily Signal, 2/10/15
It also must be nice knowing you can be brazen beyond what no employee in the private sector would get away with in a few days, let alone years, all because you were a great foot soldier for the planet!
Beale, an NYU grad with a masters from Princeton, was earning a salary and bonuses of $206,000 a year, making him the highest paid official at the EPA. He earned more money than the agency’s administrator, Gina McCarthy, according to agency documents.
One of the reports states, Beale took 33 airplane trips between 2003 and 2011, costing the government $266,190. On 70 percent of those, he traveled first class and stayed at high end hotels, charging more than twice the government’s allowed per diem limit. But his expense vouchers were routinely approved by another EPA official, a colleague of Beale’s, whose conduct is now being reviewed by the inspector general, according to congressional investigators briefed on the report.
Top EPA officials, including McCarthy, attended a September 2011 retirement party for Beale and two colleagues aboard a Potomac yacht.
— NBC News, 12/18/13
There were many red flags but when you believe you’re above being questioned and punishment, a federal employee can get away with things very few of us in the real world could… at least for awhile.
Seven weeks after the cruise, Beale told McCarthy that he’d banked some vacation time and would be using it to fill his final months at the EPA. His official retirement, therefore, wouldn’t begin until around January or February 2012.
He went off the radar after that, and everyone assumed he was retired.
But in November 2012, more than a year after the party on the Potomac, an HR employee went to McCarthy with cause for concern: Beale was still drawing a paycheck for his full salary of $206,000, including the 25-percent retention bonus that was supposed to be temporary—years after the incentive should have expired.
Investigators later put dollar amounts on his crimes: $437,901 in fraudulent retention bonuses, $58,127 for the “D.O. Oversight” absences, $8,000 for the parking spot, and so on. Altogether, he cost taxpayers $886,186.
— The Washingtonian, 3/4/14
Unlike businesses in the private sector which must be productive to meet a bottom line, the federal government has no bottom line to meet. When it needs money to keep operating, it seizes its operating capital from taxpayers. The only people keeping them accountable for work actually done is them.
We see how well that worked over the years and there’s NOTHING to convince us it’s not happening now on a grand scale.
It appears not much as changed within the federal government when it comes to those violating public trust for their own personal benefit, and too many are allowed to walk away relatively unpunished with their retirements intact.
Take, for example, the DEA executive who just this week was found to have engaged in nepotism by routing hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractor jobs for his son and retired colleagues or friends.
… authorizing a total of $340,280 in spending, including a raise, specifically for his son’s contractor position; and took actions in contravention of appropriate procedures to hire two former DEA colleagues as contractors in his chain of command, including the spouse of a retired former colleague…
— Findings of Misconduct by a Senior DEA Official for Violating Ethics Regulations
The official also engaged in a “lack of candor,” the investigative file showed. Despite the established wrongdoing, criminal prosecution “was declined” and “the senior DEA official retired from his position.” In short, he kept his retirement benefits.
Likewise, the inspector general had harsh words for the FBI special agent in charge (SAC) who used the bureau’s official garage to perform repairs on his and other employees’ personal vehicles, calling it, among other things, a “dereliction of supervisory responsibility,” and a misuse of tax dollars for “private gain.”
And then there was the FBI lawyer who got caught in an embarrassing criminal act at the Marine Corps barracks (MCB) commissary in Quantico, Va. “The FBI attorney admitted to placing numerous cosmetic items, valued at $257.99 and belonging to the MCB Quantico Exchange, into her purse without the intention to pay for them and did not pay for them before leaving the store. The FBI attorney further admitted that between February 2016 and her arrest in February 2018 she had shoplifted at the MCB Quantico Exchange one to two additional times, and at other private retailers in the area on two to three occasions,” the inspector general reported on May 14.
The investigation concluded her conduct violated federal criminal law and FBI policy regarding unprofessional conduct. But here was the outcome: “Criminal prosecution was deferred pending the FBI attorney’s completion of 125 hours of community service, after which all charges were dismissed.”
Two weeks ago, another DOJ official, an assistant U.S. attorney, escaped charges even after it was documented that he violated federal laws by possessing, transporting and consuming marijuana-laced edibles that he claimed he needed to treat back pain. He also was caught lying about his wrongdoing and ‘fessed up only when his estranged wife threatened him during their divorce proceedings. Nonetheless, “criminal prosecution by federal and state authorities was declined,” the IG reported May 30.
— The Hill, 6/13/19
These people wouldn’t hesitate in busting us to the fullest extent of the law, but when they commit crimes, they’re taken care of by their own.
This is not reassuring at all.