At the Environmental Protection Agency, employees don’t necessarily have to exist in order to be recognized for their accomplishments.
“Richard Windsor,” the alias email account used by former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, was honored as a “scholar of ethical behavior” for three years.
Windsor’s achievements don’t stop there. He also completed courses in management of email records, cyber security and what appears to be a counter-terror program to encourage federal employees to report suspicious activity.
National Review reports that the EPA released the certifications in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner.
According to Horner, the EPA most likely issued agency-wide requirements for those maintaining an active email address without “contemplating a false identity or fake employee would be created.”
“I’m unclear how grown men and women could think that it’s acceptable to have a nonexistent employee sign in as the test-taker [or to have an] administrator take required certification training in the name of a false identity,” Horner said.
Last year, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Jackson had been using an alias email account under the name Richard Windsor, prompting concerns that she was skirting public disclosure requirements. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) later revealed that Jackson had used her alias account to correspond with environmental groups.
“[The] EPA has shown an absolute disregard for transparency with their email practices, but this one is pretty bizarre,” said Vitter. “We also know now that Lisa Jackson used the alias ‘Richard Windsor’ to correspond outside of the EPA, including with environmental activists.”
Jackson said she created the alias because of the high volume of emails her public account gets every year. She claims career staffers convinced her to pick an alias name. She combined the name of her dog Ricky and the East Windsor Township in New Jersey to come up up with the alias name.
“Do I regret naming it [that]?” Jackson asked a Princeton University audience. “I wish that I had stuck with my original inclination and just left it ‘admjackson,’ although I’m sure somebody would have decided that that was too obscure as well, but you take that and then you assign a motive to it.”