EPA Facts

Transparency Problems:
Secret Emails

Fake Employees and Secret Addresses

In December 2012, Lisa Jackson resigned as the head of the EPA after her secret email account was uncovered. Jackson created an alias, “Richard Windsor,” through which she sent thousands of official emails. The cover went so far that the fake employee actually received a “scholar of ethical behavior” award three years in a row.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute uncovered the scandal and cited a 2008 memo in which an EPA official told the National Archives and Records Administration that the practice of using secret email accounts began under the Clinton administration.

In August 2013, a federal judge ruled that the agency’s use of secret email accounts “may have been aimed at skirting public disclosure requirements.” Not only did Jackson use the private account, but the White House knew about the system.