Since December 2013, reports have come out of the Denver EPA office chronicling the activity of the agency’s ‘poop bandit.’
Likely a disgruntled employee or ex-employee, the bandit has been terrorizing the office for months by clogging toilets, urinating on floors, placing feces in the office’s hallway, and even smearing feces and menstrual blood on the walls.
According to emails obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor asked employees to stop defecating in the office, and threatened action against the culprit.
“Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals,” wrote Cantor.While there have been several tips as to the identity of the ‘poop bandit’ none have yielded the identity of the culprit.
Clogged toilets and soiled hallways appear to be the least of the EPA’s problems as employees have refused to come into work until the issue is resolved. In an email titled ‘Oh boy’ an anonymous EPA official informs management about the growing concern amongst EPA employees.
One of my employees refused to come into the office today because she is terrified after hearing a story on the train home last night: A male supervisor in ECEJ (she would not tell me who) told her that management knows that it is a female on the (deleted) floor who has been wiping feces and menstrual blood on the walls (I’m really sorry, this is beyond gross) and that they are worried that her behavior is escalating. This supervisor said that managers were directed to share this information with staff and she feels that I am not being upfront with my staff with this same information.
Another email to management revealed that some employees are so tired of dealing with the problem that they are considering leaving the agency altogether, fearing they are “not sure that there is a solution.”
Just so you know, the memo from yesterday seems to be generating lots of hall cat, etc. Many women have expressed feeling fearful. I mentioned this to Deb as well. Not sure that there is a solution.
I had one employee report that her house keys were stolen off her desk on Jan. 31st and she had to have her locks changed — she also said that “this place is getting strange so I am going to apply for the buy out.
The security concerns have prompted EPA officials to ramp up security in the Region 8 Denver office. Agency officials have not only increased security sweeps and patrols, but have also solicited help from the Department of Homeland Security who have sent the report to “Special Agents” in the hopes that they “can provide any assistance in investigating this matter.”
The EPA refused to comment on whether the culprit has been identified.
According to the Huffington Post, this is not the first employee scandal found inside the EPA. Reports show that in May an EPA employee was caught downloading 7,000 pornographic files and accused of spending anywhere from two to six hours a day viewing them.
Later that month, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee declared the EPA was “sustaining a system riddled with high-ranking fraud and ‘criminal conduct’ costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
December 2013, a high-level EPA official was caught pretending to work for the CIA and stealing almost $900,000 from taxpayers. Despite the fact that the employee was forced to repay most of the stolen money, his judge argued he had “made a mockery of working for the federal government.”
In addition to this, employees were caught building ‘man caves‘ featuring workout equipment and televisions in a taxpayer funded EPA warehouse.
“This is truly a broken agency,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in May.