Fake CIA agent helped craft sweeping environmental rules while at EPA

Republicans seek review of John Beale’s work while at agency

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Justin Shur, an attorney for Brenner, called the report “agenda-driven [and] simply incorrect in a number of respects.”

“For example, the attack on the air quality standards is hard to understand,” Mr. Shur said. “The overwhelming view within the public health community is that those standards saved lives. They have been hailed by both Democratic and Republican administrations alike.”

He said his client had a notable career and even received a distinguished executive award from President George W. Bush. “It’s sad that 30 years of public service would be reduced to this,” Mr. Shur said.

In testimony before a House oversight panel in October, Mr. Brenner said he recommended Beale for a spot in the EPA because of his “deep knowledge of and interest in environmental issues.”

Mr. Brenner faced scrutiny for more than his ties to Beale at the hearing. He admitted taking a $8,000 discount on a car in a deal purportedly brokered by a lobbyist with interests in the EPA. Mr. Brenner has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Beale was sentenced to 2 years in prison in December after admitting that he regularly took months off at a time while being paid — tricking colleagues and superiors for years into thinking that he was working for the CIA. All the while, he earned a paycheck and hefty bonuses.

At his sentencing hearing, Beale told the judge that shame had become his “constant companion.”

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