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EPA was warned of fraudster’s illegal bonuses

The Environmental Protection Agency waited three years to act on warnings that a senior official who pretended to be a CIA spy was collecting illegal and excessive salary bonuses, the agency’s Office of Inspector General said in a report to be released Thursday.

The OIG said “ineffective internal controls” and “management inaction” enabled John C. Beale to collect unauthorized retention bonuses that boosted his salary above the legal limit.

The EPA’s human resources department flagged the salary of Beale, a deputy assistant administrator in the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, as early as July 2010 according to a copy of the report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Auditors warned that Beale’s salary exceeded the “Executive level I” statutory pay limit—a federal salary schedule reserved for cabinet members—in 2008 and 2009.

The EPA Office of General Counsel recommended in January 2011 that retention bonuses be canceled and requested the then-Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy hold an “information exchange” with Beale.

However, in April 2012 McCarthy confirmed that there were “no actions taken” on retention bonuses at the advice of the human resources department.

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