The embattled head of the Chemical Safety Board violated the Federal Records Act by using a personal account to conduct official business, according to an EPA Inspector General report that was sent to the White House.
According to the report, CSB chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso and two senior executives used personal accounts to evade other employees at CSB and did not preserve the emails as official records. That's against federal regulations and "diminishes the integrity of the agency, its program functionality and the public trust in the CSB," IG Arthur Elkins Jr. wrote.
The report also includes emails that expose some internal dispute about agency operations, with Moure-Eraso citing a "hostile environment" with certain employees and allegations that a disgruntled employee had access to email servers as a reason for keeping emails private. Released emails also shine light on concerns about an investigative backlog at the agency.
Moure-Eraso and the agency is facing scrutiny from Capitol Hill for management issues and a long-standing morale problem that stakeholders and insiders claim has damaged the agency's ability to investigate and issue recommendations on chemical accidents.
The House Oversight Committee—which released the IG report—is probing the Federal Records Act charges and other claims of mismanagement from the agency, and is considering a hearing on the topic in early March, according to an aide. Elkins detailed the findings to the committee last month.