Ever lied to your boss to get a day off work? How about doing that for 12 years? Oh, and your alibi: you were working for the CIA in Pakistan. Naturally.
John Beale was the Environmental Protection Agency’s highest-paid employee and an expert in radiation and climate change with a masters from Princeton. He was also, apparently, very lazy and very creative. (Via C-SPAN)
NBC reports Beale would disappear from work for months, one time for 18 months straight, telling his superiors he was working for the CIA. Once, he said he was needed in Pakistan immediately, because his replacement was being tortured by the Taliban.
In a December 2010 email to EPA management he said, “Due to recent events that you have probably read about, I am in Pakistan. Got the call Thurs and left Fri. Hope to be back for Christmas ….Ho, ho, ho.”
As you might have guessed by now, Beale was not in Pakistan. In September, he pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of $900,000 by lying to superiors and ditching work to spend more time at home in northern Virginia reading, biking or visiting his Cape Cod vacation home.
Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Beale made up other CIA cover stories to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on trips to London, staying in luxury hotels. He spent $57,000 of government money on flights to California. (Via Fox News)
He even told EPA bosses he missed work due to malaria (which he didn’t have) from his time fighting in Vietnam (where he didn’t serve). Current EPA chief Gina McCarthy is credited with catching Beale. (Via Voice of America)
Beale is set for sentencing Wednesday. Federal prosecutors are seeking a 30-month prison sentence. Beale’s attorney has asked the judge to consider his 25 years of government service not spent telling boldfaced fictions. (Via Slate)
It all boils down to a tale of playing hooky so elaborate, so bizarre, you just can’t avoid the obvious comparison.
"He does whatever he wants..."
"You know as long as I've known him, everything works for him."
"...whenever he wants."
"He's so cool."
"And he never gets nailed."
FERRIS BUELLER: "They bought it." (Via Paramount Pictures / "Ferris Bueller's Day Off")
JOE SCARBOROUGH: “He’s the Ferris Bueller of our time."
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "Yes he is.” (Via MSNBC)