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Ex-EPA Official Charged With Stealing $900,000 in Pay

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- A former senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official who allegedly accepted almost $900,000 in pay, benefits and bonuses for work he didn’t do over 14 years was charged with theft of government property.

John Beale, 64, is accused of collecting paychecks from about 2000 through April 30, 2013, which he “had not earned by providing employment services to the EPA,” according to a charging document filed in federal court in Washington.

Beale was a deputy assistant administrator for the agency, and no longer works there, according to Alisha Johnson, an EPA spokeswoman. He worked in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

Prosecutors are seeking to recover about $500,000 from Beale in connection with his alleged offense. The discrepancy between the amount sought and the sum Beale allegedly stole isn’t explained in court papers.

Beale formerly worked for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy when she was an assistant in the agency, Johnson said.

Beale, of Arlington, Virginia, explained absences from his job to EPA supervisors by saying he was engaged in classified projects, including for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to the Washington Post.

The charge against Beale is contained in an Aug. 23 criminal information, a document that sometimes signals that a plea agreement has been reached with prosecutors. Beale is scheduled for a plea agreement hearing on Sept. 27.

John Kern, Beale’s attorney, didn’t respond to phone messages requesting comment on the case.

Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican who has criticized the EPA for a lack of transparency, asked the agency’s inspector general to investigate whether the Beale case is isolated or indicative of a broader personnel management problem.

The case is U.S. v. Beale, 13-cr-247, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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