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Ex-EPA administrator Lisa Jackson contacted lobbyist from private email
“For months this Administration has brushed off transparency concerns, especially when it comes to federal record-keeping laws. EPA Administrator Jackson, aka ‘Richard Windsor’, has been the biggest culprit,” Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) said in a statement Wednesday.
“Even with EPA’s recent promises to review and revamp its email practices and policies, the mere fact that the agency’s Administrator was trying to circumvent ‘sunshine’ laws is a huge red flag for the effectiveness of the agency and the Administration,” Vitter continued. “There is a statutory obligation to preserve and not destroy agency communications, and I hope that Ms. Jackson will take the appropriate steps to ensure all her communications during her time as head of the agency are properly preserved.”
Jackson resigned earlier this year in the midst of a congressional investigation into the EPA’s record keeping practices.
The investigation uncovered more questionable practices among high-level agency officials. An EPA regional administrator resigned in the midst of a congressional probe after it was revealed he used private email to conduct business.
In response to the investigations, the EPA Inspector General announced it was auditing the agency’s FOIA compliance and record keeping. The EPA also announced it would retrain its more than 17,000 employees on record keeping
When reached for comment, an EPA spokeswoman did not address Jackson’s email practices but pointed to the agency’s recent steps to improve its practices.
“The Environmental Protection Agency is committed to adhering to the appropriate regulations and laws for both federal records management and email use,” the spokeswoman said in an email to the Free Beacon. “EPA continues to work with the Inspector General in its review of EPA’s email practices and policies, and is prepared to give full consideration to any recommendations for improvements identified in that review.”
An Associated Press investigation earlier this year found secret email addresses used by other top Obama administration officials, such as Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Agencies and the White House defended the practice, saying it was common in previous administrations and necessary, given the large amount of email that flood officials’ public inboxes.
• CJ Ciaramella is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon.
Jackson did not immediately respond to request for comment sent to her private email address.
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