...And the fraud didn't even have anything to do with global warming! (Rimshot). Seriously, though, NBC News' Monday report on the misconduct of former EPA official John Beale is must be read to be believed. Honestly, if the following details didn't involve a lazy, greedy congenital liar swindling taxpayers out of nearly a million dollars over more than a decade of abuse, they'd be laugh-out-loud funny. Alas, it's all true, so indignation is the only proper response:
The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors. John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his lies were a "crime of massive proportion" that were “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA. Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales.
If you're interested in Beale's psychobabble defense -- courtesy of his therapist (yes, really) -- feel free to click through. The whole "woe is me" routine leaves me profoundly unmoved, however, so let's toggle ahead to more insane morsels from the article:
Two new reports by the EPA inspector general’s office conclude that top officials at the agency “enabled” Beale by failing to verify any of his phony cover stories about CIA work, and failing to check on hundreds of thousands of dollars paid him in undeserved bonuses and travel expenses -- including first-class trips to London where he stayed at five-star hotels and racked up thousands in bills for limos and taxis...To explain his long absences, Beale told agency officials -- including McCarthy -- that he was engaged in intelligence work for the CIA, either at agency headquarters or in Pakistan. At one point he claimed to be urgently needed in Pakistan because the Taliban was torturing his CIA replacement, according to Sullivan...In fact, Beale had no relationship with the CIA at all. Sullivan, the EPA investigator, said he confirmed Beale didn’t even have a security clearance. He spent much of the time he was purportedly working for the CIA at his Northern Virginia home riding bikes, doing housework and reading books, or at a vacation house on Cape Cod. “He’s never been to Langley (the CIA’s Virginia headquarters),” said Sullivan. “The CIA has no record of him ever walking through the door.”
The lies didn't stop with the CIA fantasies. America's highest paid global warming authority also claimed to have contracted malaria back when he was serving in Vietnam in order to secure a handicap parking space. He neither suffered from the disease, nor served in Vietnam -- thus qualifying Mr. Beale to be a US Senator from Connecticut:
In 2008, Beale didn’t show up at the EPA for six months, telling his boss that he was part of a special multi-agency election-year project relating to “candidate security.” He billed the government $57,000 for five trips to California that were made purely “for personal reasons,” his lawyer acknowledged. (His parents lived there.) He also claimed to be suffering from malaria that he got while serving in Vietnam. According to his lawyer’s filing, he didn’t have malaria and never served in Vietnam. He told the story to EPA officials so he could get special handicap parking at a garage near EPA headquarters.
Beale finally got caught after he threw a lavish "retirement" party for himself aboard a yacht, then continued to draw a paycheck for the next two years. This manipulation was first uncovered in March 2012, but it took until this past April for investigations to play out. The jig was finally up. EPA's excuse for itself is that its internal culture is so mission-oriented that the agency is prone to overlook potential red flags. Frighteningly, I think Allahpundit is right that if Beale had been just slightly less reckless in his machinations, his scheme might still be alive and well. Instead, it took a fake retirement to finally generate sufficient scrutiny from the branch of the federal government that's evidently too focused on bankrupting the coal industry to police its own fraudulent elites. The Obama administration's ideological project is, as ever, about government control and authority. The men and women who work in coal-fired power plants are barely an afterthought to the central planners. And when I say work, I mean work work -- which typically doesn't involve billing your employer while claiming to be on a secret overseas mission when you're actually curled up with a romance novel at your vacation home. The feds' recommended two-and-a-half-year sentence hardly seems adequate for this cretin. I'll leave you with the man himself pleading the fifth before Darrell Issa's committee in October:
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography