This guy sounds like a real piece of work. Good riddance.
Ryan Jackson has immediately gone to work for a pro-coal lobbying group. That makes it pretty obvious where his allegiance really was while he was supposedly protecting our environment. And remember that Ethics Pledge Trump crowed about? The one where members of his administration pledged not to get jobs as lobbyists when they left the government? – of course, that was just another lie and a joke, really (see the ProPublica article below).
The move drew criticism from environmental groups that have long argued the Trump administration EPA has been a revolving door as high-level employees go back and forth between the agency and the industries it regulates.
“Same job, higher paycheck,” the Sierra Club tweeted of the move Friday morning.
"Considering that he already works for a top coal lobbyist — EPA chief Andrew Wheeler, who’s gone from lobbying in the private sector to helping President Trump roll back clean-air regulations — the on-boarding process at his new employer should be a breeze,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement.
"But long-term job growth opportunities might be grim working for an industry in a death spiral.”
The EPA did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The Trump administration has issued several rules that benefit the coal mining industry, chief of which is the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which lifts restrictions on coal-fired power plants.
Jackson was under investigation by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) for his suspected involvement in the destruction of important documents related to a number of issues that should have been retained. Another investigation centered around whether Jackson interfered with testimony another EPA employee was set to give Congress.
The investigation concluded in December, with OIG concluding that EPA’s ethics training “does not address interfering with or intimidating individuals who communicate with or testify before Congress.”
Jackson had refused to answer some questions or sit down for an additional interview with investigators.
“Will I say where I got it from? No," he said in an Oct. 3 interview, referring to an advanced copy of testimony designated for lawmakers that he had obtained.
In an email a few weeks later reviewing his refusal to sit down again with investigators, he wrote, “I am not going to involve others or point fingers.”
The acrimonious nature of that investigation spilled into the public after the OIG sent a letter to Congress to alert lawmakers they were being stonewalled by Jackson.
“Mr. Jackson’s cooperation has been patiently sought multiple times over protracted periods by OIG auditors and investigators. Auditors asked of him merely a brief email reply. Investigators requested to interview him. Both matters, after Mr. Jackson’s repeated delays and refusals, were elevated, in writing, to you and/or other senior agency leaders in a final hope for cooperation,” then-OIG head Charles Sheehan wrote to Wheeler in a letter that outlined attempts to contact both Jackson and the administrator himself.
Sheehan informed Congress just two weeks ago that OIG now considered the matter resolved after Jackson agreed to an interview, dropping his earlier request that he be accompanied by agency counsel and receive the questions in advance.
’We have no need for an additional interview and now consider the [chief of staff’s] cooperation with regard to the investigation to be complete–though far from fulfilling the [Inspector General] Act’s requirement of “timely” cooperation," Sheehan wrote to lawmakers on January 16.
He was under investigation and agreed to an interview with OIG – now that he has quit, the interview has been cancelled so it looks like he’ll never be held accountable. Pruitt did the same thing – see the CNN article below.
And this from May about how Trump’s Ethics Pledge is a nothing but another one of his cons:
The EPA has been a cesspool under Trump. Here’s a list of the 15 investigations into Trump’s first head of the agency, Scott Pruitt:
And he evaded prosecution by resigning. That’s the new game plan for corrupt Trump appointees. While you’re in power, pervert the system to benefit yourself. At the same time, use your connections to prepare a golden parachute position in the private sector. Then when the OIG and Congress start closing in on your corrupt schemes, simply pull the rip cord on that golden parachute – you bail on the investigations and land in your cushy new job.
And Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Secretary of Interior, followed the same playbook. While in power he grabbed everything he could lay his hands on – that led to 17 ethics investigations. Then he simply resigned to avoid accountability.