Vitter: EPA Lied about Region 8 Administrator’s Email Use
March 8, 2013
U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today found the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lied about former Region 8 Administrator James Martin's use of a non-official email account to conduct official business.
"EPA should start owning up to the facts piling up before them. Their blatant disregard for proper procedure and transparency is now being regularly exposed, and EPA's leadership must be held accountable," Vitter said.
On January 29, 2013, Vitter and U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) started an investigation into the Region 8 Administrator's emails. Martin has since resigned. Read more about Vitter and Issa's investigation here.
After Vitter and Issa launched their investigation, and following Martin's resignation, an EPA spokeswoman said Martin resigned for "personal reasons" and denied he regularly used his private account for official business.
"As detailed in public filings, the regional administrator does not use his personal email account to conduct official business," the EPA spokeswoman wrote. "That Mr. Martin responded to one email sent to his personal email account to confirm a meeting that appears on his official government calendar does not alter that fact."Read more here.
In fact, Mr. Martin used his personal email account on multiple occasions to conduct official business even though the EPA instructs its employees to "not use any outside e-mail account to conduct official Agency business."
Despite the clear policy prohibiting use of personal emails, Vitter has highlighted examples of several high-ranking EPA officials, including Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, having used their personal e-mail accounts for official purposes.