“EPA: Chief of Staff Investigation Sours IG, Agency Relationship”

“Relations between EPA and its inspector general took another hit today as the agency's watchdog office issued a new report taking aim at Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson.

EPA's Office of Inspector General blasted the agency over Jackson's refusal to disclose to auditors who leaked him congressional testimony. The episode was already part of a rare warning from the IG, the “Seven Day Letter,” which the watchdog office sent in late October.

Today's report, signed by acting EPA IG Charles Sheehan, looked into whether Jackson may have interfered with testimony by Deborah Swackhamer, then-chairwoman of EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors, more than two years ago. At the time, the board had come under intense media scrutiny after EPA did not renew the terms of some of its members.

The report also reviewed whether EPA staff in the administrator's office received whistleblower training against intimidating people who testify before Congress.”

Kevin Bogardus reports for Greenwire December 10, 2019.