According to a new watchdog report, Trump appointees allowed terminated Environmental Protection Agency staffers to keep receiving salaries.
The report was obtained by Politico from the EPA’s Inspector General under a Freedom of Information Act request. Per Politico, former chief of staff Ryan Jackson directed the payments, and former White House liaison Charles Munoz carried them out. They go on to report the salaries “totaled almost $38,000 … Munoz also received an improper raise and submitted ‘fraudulent timesheets’ that cost EPA almost $96,000, the OIG calculated.” Redactions throughout the document hide the identities of the terminated employees.
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According to Politico, the report reads, “‘Mr. Munoz explained that the ‘fix,’ which he believed was Mr. Jackson’s idea, was to tell the EPA’s Human Resources Management Division that [the person] was on an extended telework schedule so that [they] would receive pay.’ … Federal law does not allow for severance pay, something Jackson and Munoz acknowledged to investigators in voluntary interviews that they knew.” Since the payments, both men no longer work at the agency. Despite the Inspector General’s report, federal prosecutors did not press charges against Jackson nor Munoz.