Healey’s ‘Climate Czar’ broke ethics rules in leaving EPA, watchdog group alleges
- August 2, 2023
The Healey Administration’s climate chief violated ethics rules at the EPA after she began the process of seeking a job with the state, according to an ethics complaint filed by a government watchdog group.
In a letter dated Aug. 1 and sent to Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General Sean O’Donnell, a group called Protect the Public’s Trust said their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the departure of Melissa Hoffer from her position as EPA Principal Deputy General Counsel revealed the Bay State’s Climate Chief failed to follow the agency’s ethics rules for seeking work outside of the federal government.
“Ms. Hoffer served as one the highest-ranking lawyers at EPA, yet she apparently failed to comply with routine ethics obligations when seeking employment with a non-federal entity. While certainly not the first instance PPT has identified at the EPA, the apparent ‘look-the-other-way’ approach to ethics violations under the current administration is a primary reason for the public’s plummeting trust in the federal government,” the group wrote.
“Ms. Hoffer was required to provide EPA’s Ethics Office with notice within three business days of any negotiations or agreement reached about employment with any non-federal entity,” the group wrote. “Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that, by Ms. Hoffer’s own account, her negotiations with Massachusetts began on November 28, 2022. Yet, she did not inform the ethics office until December 16, nearly three weeks later.”