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EPA makes changes in Denver Regional Office

Release Date: 4/28/2000
Contact Information:
EPA 303-312-6780

      Correspondents --

      Attached is a memo sent today by EPA's Acting Deputy Administrator W. Michael McCabe in Washington, DC. It concerns the Agency's response to a complaint filed against William P. Yellowtail, EPA's Regional Administrator in Denver by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

      Rich Lathrop
      Region 8 News Office


TO: Assistant Administrators
          General Counsel
          Inspector General
          Acting Chief Financial Officer
          Associate Administrators
          Regional Administrators
          Staff Office Directors

SUBJECT: Office of Special Counsel Proceedings on Alleged Hatch Act Violation

On April 11, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency, announced that it was filing a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) for disciplinary action against EPA Region VIII Regional Administrator Bill Yellowtail for alleged violations of the Hatch Act. Administrator Browner and I take the requirements of the Hatch Act very seriously and have emphasized compliance by all employees - and particularly the Agency’s senior leadership - during frequent ethics briefings.

According to OSC’s complaint, Bill allowed his name to be used for political fund-raising solicitations in his home state of Montana. Bill cooperated fully in the investigation.

When allegations of this nature are made by OSC, employees have an opportunity to defend themselves before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) against the charges following prescribed procedures. Bill has decided to exercise his rights and defend himself against the charges. EPA will fully respect the outcome of the MSPB proceedings.

Administrator Browner and I believe that it is inappropriate for Bill to continue his responsibilities as Regional Administrator pending final resolution by MSPB. Therefore, effective immediately, Rebecca Hanmer will serve as Acting Regional Administrator. In order to ensure a smooth transition for the Region, we are detailing Bill to alternate duties for 30 days so that he may assist Ms. Hanmer. After that time, Bill will be placed in a leave without pay status.

Ms. Hanmer, an experienced agency veteran of 30 years, has served previously as Regional Administrator in Region IV, as Deputy Regional Administrator in Region I, and as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. The Administrator and I are confident that she will serve the Region and the Agency in an outstanding manner. We encourage all employees to assist Ms. Hanmer in a smooth transition of regional duties and responsibilities.

                      W. Michael McCabe
                      Acting Deputy Administrator