Obama No. 2 EPA Pick Withdraws Name
By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama's pick for the No. 2 spot at the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew his name from consideration today, citing scrutiny of his one-time affiliation with a now-defunct nonprofit that in 2007 was found by the EPA Inspector General's Office to have mismanaged more than $25 million in EPA grants.
"It has come to my attention that America's Clean Water Foundation, where I once served on the board of directors, has become the subject of scrutiny," said deputy EPA administrator-nominee Jonathan Z. Cannon in a statement released by the EPA withdrawing his name. "While my service on the board of that now-dissolved organization is not the subject of the scrutiny ... I do not wish to present any distraction to the agency."
The Clean Water Foundation was found to have funneled more than $21 million of the EPA dollars to contractor Validus Services LLC, a subsidiary of the American Pork Producers Council, and the inspector general recommended the federal environmental stewards try to recovery all $25 million the agency had shelled out to Clean Water to help farmers and states comply with clean water laws and assess environmental risks. The Clean Water Foundation disbanded in 2006.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said that the agency would "move quickly to identify a new candidate."
Cannon's move came the day before his Senate nomination hearing was scheduled to begin.
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