WASHINGTON — A federal government agency did more than wrinkle its nose at an employee's flatulence problem, issuing an official reprimand after months of malodors. But the agency said Friday that it has since retracted the rebuke.

The reprimand letter, which runs four pages and is dated Dec. 10, charges the Social Security Administration employee with "conduct unbecoming a federal employee" and "creating a hostile work environment" because of the repeated gas passing.

It says coworkers didn't want to work with the person because of the problem, which the employee seems to have attributed to lactose intolerance. The letter also contains a chart documenting 60 instances of flatulence, nine on one day in September.

The letter was originally posted on The Smoking Gun website with names blacked out.

Social Security Administration spokesman Mark Hinkle said Friday in a two-sentence email that the reprimand was rescinded a week after it was issued "when senior management became aware of the reprimand" and that the agency, which has its headquarters in a suburb outside of Baltimore, could not comment further because of "privacy concerns." He declined to say the employee's gender or where the person worked.

According to the letter, at least three people tried to get to the bottom of the smelly situation with the employee beginning in May, when the employee's supervisor brought up the topic during a performance discussion.

The author of the reprimand letter, a manager, confronted the employee in July, noting several coworkers had complained and asking if "you could make it to the rest room before releasing the awful and unpleasant odor." The employee apparently offered to try not to pass gas and to turn on a fan when it happened, but the letter writer says that solution wasn't satisfactory.

"I explained to you that turning on the fan would cause the smell to spread and worsen the air quality in the module," the letter writer chastises.

Later, after a conversation with a deputy division director, the employee blamed the problem on lactose intolerance and offered to purchase Gas-X. The deputy division director also asked that the employee investigate a medical explanation.

"He asked that you check with your doctor to see if there are other options to help you address your flatulence and that you could not pass gas indefinitely and continue to disrupt the work place," the letter says.

The employee submitted information about medical conditions but nothing indicating "that you would have uncontrollable flatulence," according to the letter.

"It is my belief that you can control this condition," the letter writer says.

The employee's flatulent episodes were then documented by date and time over a three-month period beginning in September. The letter does not explain how the record was made.

___

Follow Jessica Gresko at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Frank Schmuck

    With a name like that, why not go into politics?

  • Lawless

    He entered law school ironically and it just got out of hand from there.

  • Jay Walker

    The first man ever to run on a "no more crosswalks" platform.

  • James Bond

    Worst embedded secret agent ever.

  • Young Boozer

    At least half of his name is a misnomer.

  • Ryan Fattman

    Sutton, MA: Say hello to Rep. Fattman!

  • Shotwell

    He beat his opponent, Bert Alwaysmissedthetarget.

  • Mark Reckless

    We're amazed that this was an isolated incident.

  • Phillip Forgit

    On Election Day, remember to... do... something.

  • Ben Bushyhead

    He's asking you to hire him to work for you, and also to stop laughing.

  • Two Balls And A Cox

    The greatest decision all of these people made was to join forces on this sign.

  • Rodney Assman

    Running against Donald Boobman.

  • Mike Hunt

    Just say it really fast.

  • Dick Swett

    He puts all these other names to shame.

  • Krystal Ball

    How many times do you think she had to answer a joke about whether she knew the outcome of the election?

  • Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

    We'd vote for her, as she's obviously a person of convictions. In this case, hanging onto a nickname from the second grade.

  • Richard J. Ball

    Think about the nickname for "Richard" and you get the idea.

  • Robin Rape

    Well, Robin got elected once so we guess this name isn't too much of a hindrance.

  • Randy Head

    The rest of his body isn't that randy.

  • Butch Otter

    Don't you hate when you see those feminine otters?

  • Norm Dicks

    Don't worry, everything is normal.

  • Mike Crapo

    Is his nickname really "Crap"? We appreciate him being in on the joke.

  • Harry Baals

    Perfect.

  • Kerry Faggotter

    Yikes.

  • Tiny Kox

    Come on, Tiny. Don't put yourself down like that.

  • Dick Mountjoy

    This guy should have definitely gone into pornography, not politics.

  • Virginia Foxx

    From... North Carolina.

  • Daniel Akaka

    This one's for the Spanish speakers.

  • Bill Boner

    The bone in the "O" is not helping.

  • Mike Beebee

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe9qb5yPQgA">"Ay Bay Bay"</a> should have been his campaign song.

  • Dave Obey

    No one really had a choice when it came to voting for Dave.

  • Carmen Vali-Cave

    We appreciate that she married someone who would make her last name super contradictory.