EPA Official Who Faked CIA Duty Moves to Halfway House

The longtime Environmental Protection Agency clean-air expert who skipped work while posing as a CIA agent has been released from prison and is now in a halfway house.

John C. Beale, who joined EPA full-time in 1988 and helped run its Office of Air and Radiation with current Administrator Gina McCarthy, was sentenced in December 2013 to 32 months in prison and $1.4 million in restitution after having pleaded guilty to felony theft of government property. He had faked his time cards and falsely claimed to moonlight for the intelligence agency.

Beale was moved this spring from the federal correctional institute in Cumberland, Md., to a Philadelphia facility, Government Executive has confirmed with the Bureau of Prisons. He must sleep in the facility supervised by a bureau Residential Reentry Management field office and perform work and program activity during the day on a conditional basis.

Set for release on June 1, Beale is also paying the outstanding portion of his restitution through his federal annuity.

The sensational case embarrassed the EPA and spawned congressional hearings about how Beale faked his time cards, expense reports for travel and overseas cellphone calls when in fact he spent much his time in 2001-2013 at home and his vacation home in Massachusetts. He also told co-workers he was retiring in 2011, at which time they threw him a party—though he remained on the payroll for two more years and became the agency’s highest-paid employee.

Beale’s scheme unraveled after the EPA inspector general’s office began an investigation and checked with its CIA counterpart. Beale at one point agreed to meet the EPA investigators at the main gate at CIA headquarters in Langley to enter a secure room. But in a dramatic reversal, Beale’s lawyer called the EPA watchdog back and confessed that his client had lied to him and that he didn’t work for the CIA at all.

When interviewed by IG investigators on June 14, 2013, Beale admitted to taking off a total of two and a half years–six months in 2008 and two years from 2011- 13.

McCarthy told the IG’s investigators she had been told when she started in the agency’s top job that Beale was a part-time CIA employee. The IG eventually portrayed McCarthy as having helped expose Beale’s fraud.

Patrick Sullivan, the assistant inspector general for investigations who worked on the Beale investigation and turned results over to the IG’s auditing division, said changes prompted by the debacle include a policy that “EPA will no longer accept it at face value when an employee says they have to fly first class, but will check the documentation. No longer will travel vouchers be rubber-stamped,” Sullivan told Government Executive this week, noting that Beale’s boss had delegated such approvals to someone in the front office.

“Other weaknesses found were that no one was confirming the hours submitted on his time sheets, but [supervisors] were using batch approval” every two weeks, even though no one knew where Beale actually was.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.