There must be something in the water. And, unfortunately, the government agency tasked with keeping it clean appears to be one of the worst affected.
On Wednesday, the Government Executive divulged an email wherein EPA management asked employees to stop pooping in the hallway of its Region 8 Office in Denver. (Yes, apparently this was a problem.)
Sure, the EPA does important work, like protecting air and water quality for millions of Americans, but news of the email's laughably absurd subject regarding "an individual placing feces in the hallway" outside the restroom doesn't exactly make agency employees sound very professional.
The email calls to mind some other bizarre incidents that have occurred at the agency in recent years. What's more ridiculous than a mysterious hallway pooper? How about a food stamp trafficker, a 16-year-old can of soup, and an employee who pretended to moonlight as a CIA agent. We can't make this stuff up.
For your amusement, here are those stories and more:
In December 2013, former high-ranking EPA employee John C. Beale was sentenced to 32 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing nearly $900,000 from the agency by failing to show up for work. His cover? Beale said he was a CIA agent
and was therefore exempt from discussing his prolonged absences from work.
Earlier this year, employees at the EPA's Region 8 Office in Denver were apparently asked to "stop placing feces in the hallway
" outside the restroom. The email, obtained by The Government Executive, mentioned there had been "several incidents." A national expert was reportedly brought in to consult on the behavior.
In May, an EPA employee caught watching porn while at work admitted to having downloaded more than 7,000 pornographic files -- which he watched for 2 to 6 hours daily
-- to his government computer. Though the worker's identity wasn't disclosed at the time, he was said to be earning about $120,000 a year.
EPA Office of the Inspector General
In June 2013, an EPA warehouse in Maryland was found in need of "immediate attention"
after an inspection uncovered multiple "unauthorized and hidden personal spaces" that had been arranged "so that they were out of sight of security cameras
." Items found in the spaces included "photos, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos."
Elsewhere in the warehouse, employees had fashioned a gym using surplus exercise equipment, which, in contrast with the rest of the building, was said to be "well maintained."
One of the unexpected benefits of last year's federal government shutdown: workers at the EPA's Chicago headquarters finally got around to cleaning out their office fridge. In the process, they found (and presumably discarded) a 16-year-old can of soup
. An email sent to workers at the end of the shutdown read, "please remember it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the refrigerators clean."