Testifying before Congress today, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was questioned as to why EPA never made a criminal referral of a male employee who engaged in serial sexual harassment of agency personnel and female interns. The contentious exchange between McCarthy and GOP Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah went on for several minutes.
Via: The HARRY READ ME File – Published on Jul 29, 2015
The EPA inspector general found that agency employee Peter Jutro “engaged in offensive and inappropriate behavior toward at least 16 women, most of whom were EPA co-workers.” The IG report also found that very senior EPA officials “were made aware of many of these actions and yet did nothing.” Instead of reprimanding Jutro, he was promoted to be Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Homeland Security where he “engaged in such behavior toward an additional six women,” the IG report said.
At today’s hearing, Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee engaged in a intense debate with McCarthy over the sexual harassment incident.
Chaffetz: “This was a predator who was fed a steady diet of interns. The first time that this should happen he should have been fired, he should have probably been referred to the authorities for criminal prosecution. It happened ten times and you never did that. You still haven’t done that that for this person.”
McCarthy: “…It was handled appropriately.”
Chaffetz: “Appropriately?! He got a promotion, he continued to work there!”
McCarthy: “He was carefully watched…”
Chaffetz: “Watched?! Who’s watching him?! Who’s watching him?!”
McCarthy: “We took prompt action…”
Chaffetz: “You moved his cubicle four spaces away! You think that is appropriate?! What do you say to the mother and father who sent their 24 year old to the EPA, she is starting her career and she’s harassed. Look at her statement. And you did the appropriate thing by moving her four spaces away!?”
Chaffetz: “Why didn’t you refer it as a criminal referral?…”I got two young daughters too. I would never send them to the EPA t. It is the most toxic place to work that I have ever heard of.”