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'Unprecedented levels of transparency' update: The trail of Lisa Jackson email accounts keeps going

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By Doug Powers  •  February 21, 2013 12:59 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

“We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history”Barack Obama
*****

Protecting the environment for some reason seems to necessitate maintaining a complex web of email accounts and aliases.

Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson — if that’s her real name — had already admitted to using the pseudonym “Richard Windsor” on a separate government email account that she used in addition to her own. It’s now been discovered that Jackson-Windsor also used a third email account for department business, this one not even connected in any way to the EPA:

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson used her old New Jersey state government email account to supplement the account that she operated under the alias “Richard Windsor,” which a watchdog group suggests was another attempt to avoid transparency laws.

“It was no longer an account anyone would think to search under any open records request because there was no defensible reason it still should be in operation,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner said in a statement today. “In other words, like the ‘Richard Windsor’ account, it looks like she assumed this was a safe harbor from the horrors of transparency in public office.”

Jackson worked in the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection for six years, before serving as chief of staff to then-Gov. Jon Corzine, D-N-J., in 2008. CEI discovered Jackson’s use of the New Jersey email account while reviewing some of the Richard Windsor emails that the EPA released pursuant to a court order. According to CEI, the emails show that Jackson sent emails from her N.J. account to her Richard Windsor account.

The EPA is turning out to be the email equivalent of Master of Disguise.

Here’s more transparency news:

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., revealed that he has found “widespread” use of banned, unofficial email accounts at the Environmental Protection Agency. At least two regional administrators used the unofficial email accounts, including the acting agency leader and one person resigning as the investigation gets underway.

“Region 8 Administrator [James] Martin is likely resigning this week in part because of the open investigation about his use of a non-official email account to conduct official business,” Vitter, ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), said in a statement today. The off-site email account “may have been an attempt to circumvent the Federal Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and Congressional oversight,” Vitter’s office explained.

Lisa Jackson officially left her job less than a week ago, and was succeeded on an interim basis by Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe — or as some of his email pals know him, “Marge Peterson” (just kidding… I think).

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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