GOP examines claim that EPA blocking probes

Dina Cappiello

May 7, 2014

By Dina Cappiello

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top investigator in the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general office is telling Congress its independent investigations have been blocked by a unit run by EPA’s political staff. He says a “total and systematic refusal” to share information has stymied investigations.

The assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, testified Wednesday before a House oversight committee about the activities of the EPA’s little-known Office of Homeland Security. Sullivan said the office for years has blocked the inspector general’s office from information by citing national security concerns and compelling employees to sign non-disclosure agreements.

The longtime turf battle between the two offices is the latest under the Obama administration to question the effective independence of the government’s inspectors general.

Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, called the agency broken and said EPA leadership prevents the inspector general’s office from doing its job.